September 29, 2022

Van Hollen, Toomey File Russia Secondary Sanctions Amendment to NDAA

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) filed a bipartisan amendment to be considered under the Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act creating secondary sanctions to hold Russia accountable for its war against Ukraine. The Senators’ amendment will provide new sanctions authority to the Administration in its efforts to sever funding to Putin’s war machine.

“The Administration’s work alongside the G7 toward implementing a price cap on Russian oil is a crucial step in holding Russia’s feet to the fire for its unprovoked war against Ukraine. But to ensure the price cap has its intended impact, we’ve got to have the ability to back it up. This sanctions proposal will provide the Administration with the necessary tools to enforce the price cap and will strengthen our ability to grind Putin’s war machine to halt. This is an important part of our larger strategy to stand with the people of Ukraine as long as it takes to repel Russian aggression,” said Senator Van Hollen. 

“While the U.S. has taken steps to hold the Kremlin accountable for its unprovoked war against Ukraine, we have yet to effectively diminish Russia’s revenues from energy sales. By imposing strong secondary sanctions on any foreign financial institution involved in Russian oil transactions above the designated price cap, our amendment will give the Biden administration the necessary tools to cut off funding to Putin’s war machine. Now is not the time for half-measures or complacency—it’s time to escalate the cost of the Kremlin continuing this war,” said Senator Toomey.

The amendment strengthens the G7 price cap regime by imposing secondary sanctions on foreign entities involved in the purchase of Russian seaborne petroleum and petroleum products at a price above the cap. It also decreases the price cap over the period of three years to steadily deprive Russia of its oil profits. Clear and predictable consequences for violations will improve compliance and support the long-term success of the Administration’s plan. 

The amendment follows the Senators’ prior release of a proposed sanctions framework as well as the Senators’ prior efforts to successfully pass sanctions legislation on a number of fronts. Senators Van Hollen and Toomey previously worked together on North Korea sanctions legislation, the Otto Warmbier BRINK Act, which was signed into law in 2019, and legislation sanctioning those responsible for the crackdown on Hong Kong’s autonomy, the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which was signed into law in 2020. Senators Van Hollen and Toomey are both members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

The text of the Senators’ amendment is available here.