April 06, 2018

Menendez Statement on U.S. Sanctions on Russian Oligarchs

NEWARK – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned seven Russian oligarchs, 12 companies they control, 17 Russian government officials, and two state-owned enterprises under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).  Co-authored by Menendez, CAATSA was overwhelmingly approved by Congress last summer and requires mandatory sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea for their malign activities around the world.

“It is no secret that Vladimir Putin’s regime relies on a corrupt gang of oligarchs and officials who have placed their own staggering wealth and the regime’s survival above the interests of Russia’s citizens. They have created a system that allows these individuals to aid and abet the Kremlin’s campaign to undermine democracy at home and abroad. To secure our interests, the United States and our allies must hit the regime where it hurts—in the heart of this kleptocratic network.

“I welcome today’s sanctions on Russian oligarchs and government officials, which I called for many months ago.  But I again urge President Trump to clearly articulate a comprehensive strategy to counter malign Russian government behavior in all of its forms. Nearly 15 months into this Administration, the American people and our allies are still questioning whether the President is willing to fully defend our democracy and our national security. The CAATSA law offers the framework for a compressive strategy through a range of powerful mandates which would do just that. I look forward to a briefing from the Administration on a strategy and the broader sequence of steps planned to deter Kremlin aggression against us and our friends.”

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