Senator Gardner Introduces Bipartisan Hard-Hitting Russia Sanctions Package
Includes Gardner’s Russia State Sponsor of Terror Legislation
WASHINGTON, DC –Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), along with Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2018, comprehensive legislation that will increase economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation in response to Russia’s continued interference in our elections, malign influence in Syria, aggression in Crimea, and other activities.
“The United States must continue to take strong actions against Vladimir Putin’s Russia for their global violations of international law and repeated attempts to undermine U.S. democratic institutions,” said Senator Gardner. “I fully support this bipartisan measure that will impose further economic sanctions against the Kremlin and also includes my language requiring the State Department to determine whether Russia merits the designation of a State Sponsor of Terror, along with Kremlin allies Iran and Syria that are already designated. Unless Russia fundamentally changes its behavior, we must not repeat the mistakes of past Administrations of trying to normalize relations with a nation that continues to pose a serious threat to the United States and our allies.”
Key elements of the legislation include:
- A strong statement of support for NATO and a requirement for two-thirds of the United States Senate to vote to leave NATO
- A requirement for the Secretary of State to submit a determination of whether the Russian Federation meets the criteria for designation as a state sponsor of terrorism.
- Provisions expediting the transfer of excess defense articles to NATO countries to reduce some NATO countries’ dependence on Russian military equipment.
- The establishment of an Office of Cyberspace and the Digital Economy within the Department of State. This office will lead diplomatic efforts relating to international cybersecurity, Internet access, Internet freedom, the digital economy, cybercrime, deterrence and responses to cyber threats.
- Provisions aimed to pressure the Russian government to halt its obstruction of international efforts to investigate chemical weapons attacks as well as punish the Russian government for chemical weapons production and use.
- Making interfering in our elections a ground of inadmissibility under immigration law
- The International Cybercrime Prevention Act which would give prosecutors the ability to shut down botnets and other digital infrastructure that can be used for a wide range of illegal activity; create a new criminal violation for individuals who have knowingly targeted critical infrastructure, including dams, power plants, hospitals, and election infrastructure; and prohibit cybercriminals from selling access to botnets to carry out cyber-attacks
- The Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act which would allow the Department of Justice to pursue federal charges for the hacking of any voting system that is used in a federal election
- New sanctions on political figures, oligarchs, and family members and other persons that facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of Vladimir Putin
- Sanction on transactions related to investment in energy projects supported by Russia state-owned or parastatal entities
- A prohibition on and sanctions with respect to transactions relating to new sovereign debt of the Russian Federation
- Sectoral sanctions on any person in the Russian Federation that has the capacity or ability to support or facilitate malicious cyber activities
- A prohibition on licenses for United States persons to engage in activities relating to certain projects to produce oil in the Russian Federation
- A requirement for domestic title insurance companies to report information on the beneficial owners of entities that purchase residential real estate in high-value transactions
- An extension on the cap of Russian uranium imports
- Reinforcement for the State Department Office of Sanctions Coordination
- A report on the net worth and assets of Vladimir Putin
- The creation of a National Fusion Center to Respond to Hybrid Threats. The aim of this center is to better prepare and respond to Russian disinformation and other emerging threats emanating from the Russian Federation.
- A reauthorization of the Countering Russia Influence Fund
NOTE: Read more about Senator Gardner’s legislation to require a determination from the State Department on designation of the Russia Federation as a state sponsor of terrorism here.
Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.
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