Congressmen Cohen and Wilson Introduce Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act

October 6, 2020
Press Release
Response to Navalny poisoning, other malicious political crimes

MEMPHIS – Congressmen Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Joe Wilson (SC-02) have introduced the Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act in response to the poisoning 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) announced earlier today that it has concluded that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent which, according to experts, can only be used by the Russian Federation. The German government had 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 make this bill more important than ever.  This horrid action 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 severe consequences.”

Congressman Wilson made the following statement:

“Over the last two decades, Vladimir Putin has proven that he is nothing but a tyrant and a thug. He has been behind countless assassinations, attempted murders, and intimidation tactics targeting anyone who dares criticize his tyranny and repression. I am grateful to join Congressman Steve Cohen in exacting a price for Putin’s long history of murdering opposition figures and dissidents by leading the Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act of 2020. The most recent attack on Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny in August underscores the need to hold Vladimir Putin and his inner circle personally accountable for these kinds of poisoning attacks which have become their calling card.”

The Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act of 2020 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 Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from the Russian Federation.