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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate passed a sanctions bill that included U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) amendment that will strengthen Russian sanctions. Brown – the ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, which has jurisdiction over financial and trade sanctions on other countries – helped broker a deal with Republicans and Democrats that will strengthen and expand U.S. sanctions on Russia.

“The Ukrainian community in Ohio and around the world knows firsthand the dangers of unchecked Russian aggression. We should strengthen – not weaken or relax – Russian sanctions,” said Brown. “I urge my colleagues here and in the House to support this amendment, and I urge the President to sign it into law. We must continue to vigorously enforce and strengthen sanctions against Russia, to send a message to its leaders and the world that the United States of America will not tolerate efforts to undermine democracy around the world. This bipartisan bill is an important step in that direction.”

Brown and U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), the Republican Chairman of the Banking Committee, announced an agreement in May. And earlier this week, the two Senators, along with their colleagues from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) and Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD) announced a bipartisan amendment which will:

  • Provide for a mandated congressional review if sanctions are relaxed, suspended or terminated.
  • Codify and strengthen existing sanctions contained in executive orders on Russia, including the 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; those conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government;  those involved in corrupt privatization of state-owned assets; and those doing business with the Russian intelligence and defense sectors.  
  • Allow broad new sanctions on key sectors of Russia’s economy, including mining, metals, shipping and railways.
  • Authorize robust assistance to strengthen democratic institutions and counter disinformation across Central and Eastern European countries that are vulnerable to Russian aggression and interference. 
  • Require a study on the flow of illicit finance involving Russia and a formal assessment of U.S. economic exposure to Russian state-owned entities.