June 01, 2017

Crapo, Brown Plan to Strengthen Russia Sanctions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) announced a bipartisan agreement on legislation to strengthen and expand current U.S. sanctions on Russia.

The Banking Committee has held hearings to assess the effects of U.S. sanctions imposed three years ago against the Russian Federation for its invasion and illegal annexation of Crimea. The hearings also assessed the prospects for imposing additional sanctions in response to Russia’s continuing violence and interference in Ukraine and Syria, and Russia’s cyber intrusions against the United States.

Despite existing sanctions, Russia remains a hostile, recalcitrant power, deploying its military, cyber-enabled information espionage activities, and economic tactics to harm the United States and drive a wedge between it and its allies. There is significant Congressional interest in ensuring sanctions on Russia are effective and proportionally enhanced, particularly in light of continuing Russian intransigence in these areas.

Highlights of the agreed-upon legislation include measures to:

  • Codify and strengthen existing sanctions contained in Executive Orders on Russia. The legislation strengthens these sanctions’ impact on certain Russian energy projects and on debt financing in key economic sectors.
  • Impose new sanctions on: corrupt Russian actors; those seeking to evade sanctions; those involved in serious human rights abuses; those supplying weapons to the Assad regime; and those conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government.
  • Authorize broad new sectoral sanctions on key sectors of Russia’s economy, including mining, metals, and railways.
  • Enhance the Treasury Department’s authorities to impose geographical targeting orders to allow investigators to obtain ATM and wire transfer records. This will allow Treasury to better target illicit activity of Russian oligarchs in the United States.
  • Require a study on the flow of illicit finance involving Russia. The measure also requires a formal assessment of U.S. economic exposure to Russian state-owned entities. 

Legislative text will be released at a later date.