July 24, 2018

Menendez, Graham Outline Bipartisan Russia Sanctions Bill

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today announced they are working on comprehensive legislation that will enhance sanctions pressure on Russia while bolstering the capacity of the United States government to respond.

“We are fully committed to ensuring Congress maintains an active role in both confronting Russian aggression and ensuring that the Executive Branch takes the necessary steps to protect the U.S. and our allies. That is why we will be introducing comprehensive legislation in the coming days to ensure the imposition of mandatory sanctions under CAATSA, while levying additional sanctions to ensure the maximum impact on the Kremlin’s campaign against our democracy and the rules-based international order.

“Just as Vladimir Putin has made clear his intention to challenge American power, influence, and security interests at home and abroad, the United States must make it abundantly clear that we will defend our nation and not waver in our rejection of his effort to erode western democracy as a strategic imperative for Russia’s future.

“We hope to build momentum in the coming days and be joined by more colleagues on both sides of the aisle in support of this important effort.”

The Senators’ legislation will include:

·        Increased sanctions on the Russian energy and financial sectors

·        Increased sanctions on Russian oligarchs and parastatal entities

·        Sanctions on Russian sovereign debt

·        Sectoral sanctions on cyber actors in Russia

·        Establishment of a National Center to Respond to Russian Threats

·        Senate approval requirement for U.S. withdrawal from NATO

·        Bolster effort to counter Russian disinformation and hybrid threats

·        Establishment of a sanctions coordinator office at the State Department

·        Reporting requirements to tighten sanctions implementation under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA)

·        Authorizing assistance to bolster democratic institutions across Europe to defend against Russian interference

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