Senators Propose Stronger U.S. Sanctions Against RussiaBy
Crapo, Brown say bill targets mining, metal, railway sectors
Measure would codify, strengthen sanctions in executive orders
Bipartisan leaders of the Senate Banking Committee announced a plan Wednesday to strengthen sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine and Syria, as well as internet intrusions in the U.S.
The proposal is a signal that some in Congress intend to push back on the Trump administration’s moves to explore an improvement in relations with Moscow.
Panel Chairman Mike Crapo of Idaho and top Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio said their bill would authorize "broad" new sanctions targeting sectors of Russia’s economy including mining, metals and railways.
It would codify and strengthen existing sanctions included in executive orders affecting Russian energy projects and debt financing in key economic sectors, the senators said in a press release.
"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,” the committee statement said. "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."
The text will be released later, according to the statement.
The question of Russian sanctions has been raised by a number of senators in both parties after the intelligence community announced in January its conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election on behalf of President Donald Trump.
Among those seeking more sanctions is Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has said he would try to attach such a measure to bipartisan Iran sanctions legislation expected to be sent to the Senate floor.