'A group of senators have introduced a bill suggesting a wide range of sanctions against Russia.
The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Democrat Bob Menendez (New Jersey) will target Russia’s banking and energy sectors, as well as its foreign debt. The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) of 2019 may affect individuals who the US would deem to “facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of Putin.”
Graham introduced a similar bill last year, dubbed the “sanctions bill from hell.” The bill that failed to pass would have also called on Congress to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism,” would have make it harder for the US to leave NATO, and would have accused Russia of committing war crimes in Syria, among a laundry list of other provisions. Similar ideas were relocated to the new proposal.
“President Trump’s willful paralysis in the face of Kremlin aggression has reached a boiling point in Congress,” Menendez said in a statement on Wednesday. Graham, an ally of Trump, echoed the sentiment of the fellow lawmaker, minus his criticism of the president.
“The sanctions and other measures contained in this bill are the most hard-hitting ever imposed – and a direct result of Putin’s continued desire to undermine American democracy,” he wrote.
Russian interference in American elections has never been proven. A handful of Russian nationals have been charged with interference, but those indictments are largely symbolic.
Graham and Menendez’ bill comes one day after the Senate Intelligence Committee announced it had found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Another House investigation came to the same conclusion last year.
Regardless of the committee’s conclusion, Graham and Menendez’ bill promises a raft of hard-hitting sanctions on Russia. These sanctions target banks that “support Russian efforts to undermine democratic institutions in other countries,” sanctions on Russia’s cyber sector, and sovereign debt.'
Read more: US senators re-introduce Russian sanctions 'bill from hell'
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