October 19, 2022

Van Hollen, Toomey Release Readout on Call with Ukrainian Ambassador on U.S. Support, Secondary Sanctions Proposal

This week, Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) spoke with Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova about the critical importance of continued U.S. support of Ukraine in the face of Vladimir Putin’s aggression. During their call, the Senators discussed ways to maximize the effectiveness of the upcoming G7 price cap on Russian oil, including through their proposal to backstop the Administration’s efforts through secondary sanctions on entities that violate the cap. Following their conversation, the Ambassador announced her support of the Senators’ sanctions effort.

“The people of Ukraine have shown extraordinary bravery in the face of Putin’s invasion. America, through both the Biden Administration and Congress, is united in our support for their efforts to protect their sovereignty, and we will continue to back Ukraine against Russian aggression. The G7 price cap is a promising measure to cut off resources to Putin’s war machine, and we are committed to ensuring its success. That’s why we’ve introduced this proposal to implement secondary sanctions to bolster the Administration’s efforts with clear consequences for those who facilitate purchases above the cap. We appreciate the Ambassador speaking with us this week and sharing her support for the price cap and our bipartisan secondary sanctions proposal to back it,” said the Senators.

In their conversation, the Senators also underscored the United States’ ironclad commitment to the security and territorial integrity of Ukraine and expressed their support for the Biden Administration’s efforts to provide additional security assistance to Ukraine.

Senators Van Hollen and Toomey’s amendment to the NDAA would provide new sanctions authority to the Administration in order to strengthen its efforts to cut the profits from Russia’s oil sales that fuel 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 G-7 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 are both members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

The text of the Senators’ amendment is available here.