Congressman Cohen Introduces Bill to Sanction Russia for its Continued Occupation of Ukraine

July 18, 2018
Press Release
Would Restrict Actions of Certain Russian Financial Institutions


WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a Member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (also known as the Helsinki Commission), today introduced legislation to impose sanctions on Russian financial institutions in response to Russia’s continued occupation of Ukraine after the February 2014 invasion of and annexation of Crimea. The Punishing Continued Occupation of Ukraine Act mandates the President to impose sanctions against at least three of seven named financial institutions if he finds Russia has continued flouting the September 2014 Minsk Agreement which was to have led to a ceasefire in the Dombass region of Ukraine but has not.

In introducing the sanctions bill today, Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

“More than four years after the invasion of its sovereign neighbor, Ukraine, Russia continues to flout its international obligations and world opinion, and needs to see that the United States believes there should be a painful consequence. This bill would hit Russian President Vladimir Putin where it hurts – in his and his cronies’ banking relationships.”

The bill names Vnesheconombank, Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, the Bank of Moscow, Rosselkhozbank, and Promsvyazbank as targets of possible sanctions if the President finds continued violations of the Minsk Agreement.

Congressman Cohen’s resolution of support for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), H. Res. 256, which reaffirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our partners in Central and Eastern Europe passed the House of Representatives last week while President Trump was meeting with NATO leaders in Brussels. The resolution was prompted by continued Russian aggression, including airspace violations, along NATO borders.