October 05, 2022

Van Hollen, Toomey Press Need for Secondary Sanctions Legislation in Response to OPEC Announcement

Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who have authored new secondary sanctions legislation to hold Russia accountable for its war in Ukraine, released the following statement on OPEC’s decision to reduce production:

“Today’s decision by OPEC will ultimately mean greater profits for Putin’s war machine. To stop this cash flow, we must work quickly to enact the price cap put forward by the Biden Administration and our G7 partners, and we must ensure that entities around the world who violate the price cap will face clear consequences. Our proposal would provide the tools to ensure the price cap is effective and enforceable – and we’ll continue pushing our colleagues to pass this necessary provision to better 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 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 text of the Senators’ amendment is available here.

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.