Washington D.C. -- Representative Rosa DeLauro with Rep. Jim Moran and Rep. Adam Kinzinger introduced legislation to re-impose and expand sanctions against Rosoboronexport, Russia’s largest arms exporter, prohibiting the direct or indirect use of government funds to enter into contracts or agreements with the Russian company.

 

Additionally, the bill prohibits U.S. persons and corporate entities from directly transferring funds, goods, or technology to Rosoboronexport, or providing financing for its operations. Violators will be economically sanctioned.

 

The bill also calls for an executive report to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees detailing Rosoboronexport’s business dealings with Syria and rebels in Ukraine.

 

Rep. DeLauro said: “Since 2011, the Defense Department has awarded Russia’s arms exporter, Rosoboronexport, more than $1 billion in no-bid contracts to buy dozens of Russian helicopters for the Afghan National Security Forces that the Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction reported the Afghans do not have the capability to operate or maintain. Russia’s aggression in Ukraine highlights the dangers of relying too heavily on Russia for the future capacity of the Afghan military. If we are serious about enacting policies that can change Russia’s thuggish behavior we can start by passing this bill. We must stop supporting Russian jobs and the Russian interest and start acting in America’s interest and on behalf of America’s workers.”

 

Rosoboronexport operates under strict supervision of the Russian government and accounts for 80 percent of Russia’s arms exports, with revenues exceeding $13 billion last year.

 

“Despite the international community’s overwhelming condemnation, the Russian government continues to support the separatists in Eastern Ukraine responsible for the murder of 298 civilians aboard Malaysian Airlines flight 17. Rosoboronexport is intimately involved in Russia’s illegal actions in Crimea and Ukraine, not to mention the company’s role as the Assad regime’s chief weapons suppliers,” said Rep. Moran.  “Americans simply should not be doing business with Putin’s arms dealer.”

 

Following Russia’s seizure of Crimea, Rosoboronexport announced it was assuming control of the export of arms and military equipment made by defense companies in the Crimean peninsula.

 

“Russia has had every opportunity to be a responsible member of the international community, but, under Vladimir Putin, instead has chosen to act as a bully and a thug,” said Rep. Kinzinger. “Placing sanctions on Rosoboronexport will have real effects on Russia’s economy and begin to put pressure on the ruling class responsible for recent aggressions. It is time for the U.S. and our European allies to make the cost of Putin’s actions exceed any benefits he hopes to achieve through regional destabilization.”

 

This year the United States has already sanctioned Sergey Chemezov, the CEO of Rosoboronexport parent company Rostec.  The US had previously barred all transactions with Rosoboronexport in 2006 due to its dealings with Iran and Syria, but the sanctions were lifted in 2010.