Barr’s sanctions bill strikes a blow to the heart of Russia’s economy during Putin’s brutal and unlawful invasion of Ukraine.

Washington, D.C.— U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) proposed legislation to close a loophole in recently announced U.S. sanctions against Russia to limit transactions with Russian oil and gas producers.  Revenue from oil and gas sales are financing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  The U.S. imposed sanctions against Russian banks, including the Russian central bank, but are still permitting transactions involving Russian energy through Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) General License 8A under Executive Order 14024. 

President Biden provided a carve out for Russian energy transactions in the recent sanctions, enabling the United States and our allies to continue financing Putin’s war against Ukraine.  Congressman Barr’s proposal, the “No Energy Revenues for Russian Hostilities Act of 2022,” ends this exemption. 

“The Biden Administration’s anti-American energy agenda has made the United States dangerously dependent on foreign sources of energy, resulting in a 28% increase in Russian oil imports since Biden became President,” said Congressman Barr.  “This, in turn, has enabled and financed Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine and will continue to do so unless we take action to close the energy loophole in our sanctions against Russia.  That’s why I have introduced legislation to eliminate the ability for energy-related transactions to continue despite the Treasury Department’s sanctions against Russian banks. It’s time to strike a blow to the heart of the Russian economy and impose a real cost on its prized energy sector as long as the brutal war in Ukraine continues.  I am also calling on President Biden to stand up to the climate radicals in his Administration and unleash American energy producers, who stand ready to flood the world with U.S. oil and natural gas, reducing energy costs at home for Americans and decreasing European dependence on Russian energy abroad.”

In 2021, the Energy Information Administration reported that the United States imported an average of 164,000 barrels of oil per day from Russia, totaling $64 million daily, a 28% increase from 2020.  Under Rep. Barr’s proposal, President Biden can reinstate the exemption for Russian energy purchases, but only if funds for energy transactions are used for humanitarian purposes, such as medicine or agricultural products.   

Congressman Barr authored the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act in 2019, which imposed sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline as part of the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  Additionally, Congressman Barr cosponsored the Never Yielding Europe’s Territory (NYET) Act, which would have leveled sanctions against Russia pre-invasion, including reinstating sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline.