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Menendez Unveils NDAA Amendment in Response to Kremlin Targeting of U.S. Troops


WASHINGTON – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is today introducing a new measure to impose costs on Russia for reportedly offering bounties for the killing of U.S. troops and allied forces in Afghanistan. The Senator’s effort would require the Trump Administration to impose asset freeze sanctions on President Vladimir Putin, his Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, and other senior government officials found to be involved in the bounty program.  Introduced as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the Senator is seeking to include this provision as part of the annual military spending bill currently being debated in the Senate this week.

“As more details continue to surface on this despicable Russian campaign, Donald Trump has proven once again that he is incapable of protecting our troops and our country.  Congress must again step up and defend our people and institutions from Kremlin aggression.  It would be unconscionable if the Senate let this moment pass. The NDAA should not move forward without consideration of this amendment.”

Ranking Member Menendez’s amendment is the first legislative proposal in response to Russia’s payment offers to Taliban-linked militants that killed American and coalition troops in Afghanistan.  The measure would respond to the immediate threat posed by the Kremlin’s bounty program by:

  • Imposing asset freeze and visa ban sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, his Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu and other officials involved in targeting U.S. or allied forces in Afghanistan;

  • Imposing banking restrictions on entities across the Russian defense sector; and

  • Expanding sanctions against Russian oligarchs who are close to Putin.

A copy of the Senators amendment can be found HERE.