Congressmen Cohen and Wilson Introduce Bill to Address Russian Malign Activities
WASHINGTON -- Congressmen Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Joe Wilson (SC-02) today introduced the Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act in response to the poisoning and baseless jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and other crimes against political opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) concluded that Russian opposition leader Navalny was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent which can only be used by the Russian Federation. The German government requested the analysis after Navalny was treated at a Berlin hospital after falling seriously ill in Russia in August.
Congressman Cohen made the following statement:
“Vladimir Putin’s and the Kremlin’s history of poisoning political opponents and dissidents, and their ongoing crackdown on protests, make this bill more important than ever. Putin’s violation of international norms calls for a strong response from the United States government, including sanctions. We must send a message to Putin that such malign activities will have serious consequences.”
Congressman Wilson made the following statement:
“Vladimir Putin has shown that there are no depths to which he will not sink to prevent criticism of his tyranny. The poisoning and subsequent jailing of Alexei Navalny, as well as the unjust treatment of those peacefully protesting, is horrific and must be condemned in the strongest possible way. Poisoning of political opponents is the mark of a dictator. I am grateful to introduce this legislation with Congressman Steve Cohen to hold Putin and his inner circle responsible for their crimes against humanity.”
The Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act would:
- Require the President to make a report to Congress of Russian officials connected to the Navalny poisoning;
- Require a report on the personal wealth of Vladimir Putin and his family members including an assessment of investments, bank accounts, and relevant beneficial ownership information;
- Establish a sense of Congress that the Secretary of State should urge the Government of Germany to withdraw its support for the ongoing Nord Stream 2 pipeline project that would supply the country with natural gas from the Russian Federation.