Shaheen Statement on Biden Administration’s New Sanctions Against Russia

March 02, 2021

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and Chair of the Europe and Regional Security Cooperation SFRC Subcommittee, issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s announcement that it will pursue new sanctions against Russia for the near fatal poisoning of Alexei Navalny:

“These sanctions are the first steps in finally holding the Kremlin responsible for its actions, and they send a clear message that Putin can no longer act with impunity. I’m glad the Biden administration is engaged with our allies on this front to establish a unified response,” said Shaheen. “Russia’s malign behavior has gone without reproach for too long. When Putin and his thugs attacked our national security infrastructure, President Trump downplayed Russia’s involvement and contradicted U.S. intelligence. I’m glad those days are behind us, and I’m encouraged to see the Biden administration start the process necessary to hold the Kremlin to account for its aggression and attempted murder of Putin’s political rival, Alexei Navalny. Whether it is holding those responsible for putting bounties on American troops, standing up for the sovereignty of our European allies or defending democratic values around the world, Russia will no longer get the free pass it had under the last administration.”

In December, Shaheen and a bipartisan group of Senators requested a government-wide report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on the extent of a supply chain cyberattack on the U.S. Government carried out by alleged Russian threat actors. In January, the Senator called on the Trump administration to immediately implement Section 1655 of the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, containing her provision signed into law that requires IT companies working with the Department of Defense (DOD) to disclose instances where they have been asked to share their source code with any country that poses a cybersecurity threat to the United States, including Russia.

Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to hold Russia accountable for its aggression and election interference. She was the first legislator to call for hearings into their meddling in the 2016 elections. Because of her role as a negotiator on Russia sanctions legislation known as “CAATSA” and her successful efforts to ban Kaspersky Lab software from operating on U.S. systems, Shaheen was sanctioned by the Kremlin in 2017. Senator Shaheen has been warning of the Kremlin’s continued interference and she herself has been the target of a hacking attempt.