(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s new executive order that levies additional sanctions against Russia in response to the Kremlin’s persistent malign behavior, including the unprecedented SolarWinds cyberattack, efforts to interfere in the U.S. 2020 elections and reports of bounties on U.S. service members in Afghanistan.
“It is long overdue that Vladimir Putin and his thugs suffered the consequences of their malign behavior that for too long went unchecked. I’m glad the Biden administration is taking action to make them pay a price,” said Shaheen. “Russia’s extraordinary assault on our cyber networks, continued efforts to undermine our elections and savage tactics that threatened the lives of U.S. troops demand a meaningful response. Not only do these sanctions appropriately hit back at the Kremlin, but I appreciate that President Biden is acting in coordination with our allies to send a clear message that the international community will not tolerate Putin’s behavior. Russia needs to be held to account for its wrongdoings, but equally as important, warned of the consequences if it does not stop its aggression. These are important first steps but pushing back against Putin’s malevolence will require sustained actions and consistent pressure from the administration and our allies. I’ve worked in Congress to establish sanctions and diplomatic tools for these precise purposes and I’m glad to see President Biden governing in the same vein and in defense of our people, our country and our global security.”
Senator 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 its 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.
Shaheen worked with Senator Menendez (D-NJ) and a group of lawmakers last year to introduce the Russia Bounty Response Act of 2020, which would have required the President to impose new sanctions on any Russian person, government official or entity involved in the program to pay bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American and other allied troops in Afghanistan. In addition, Senator Shaheen introduced a resolution earlier this year with Senators Coons (D-DE), Rubio (R-FL) and Durbin (D-IL) to condemn the activities of Russian national Yevgeny Prigozhin and the Wagner Group, a Russian private military contractor. Prigozhin and Wagner are bad actors, and with support of the Kremlin, have worked to destabilize democracies, exacerbate conflict settings and continue to pose a threat to the interests of the U.S. and its allies. The executive order announced today imposes sanctions against Prigozhin.