June 15, 2017

Russia Sanctions Amendment Ensures Trump Cannot Give Russian Officials Access to Diplomatic Properties Without Congressional Approval

Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, member of the Senate Banking Committee, announced that the bipartisan Russia Sanctions amendment includes language to block President Trump from allowing Russian officials access to diplomatic properties in Maryland and New York that were seized last December as part of our effort to hold Russia accountable for interfering in our elections. The amendment sets up a comprehensive Congressional review process before the President could allow Russian officials access to these properties.

"The United States must send a clear and unequivocal message to Vladimir Putin: we will not tolerate attacks on democracy here at home or in Europe. That's why I've long advocated for stronger sanctions on Russia, and why I supported this bipartisan amendment," said Senator Van Hollen. "It is outrageous that President Trump hasn't taken any actions against Russia for its interference in our elections, and is instead considering returning diplomatic compounds in Maryland and New York that Russia used to spy on us. I'm proud to have worked with Senator Cardin to ensure that President Trump now cannot take that action unilaterally, and we will keep working to hold Russia accountable for its effort to undermine our democratic process."

Senator Van Hollen has raised serious concerns about returning the Russian diplomatic properties in Maryland and New York, signing a bipartisan letter to President Trump urging him not to return the properties, filing a separate amendment on the issue, and raising it at a hearing this week with Secretary of State Tillerson.