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Pingree Votes to Ban Russian Energy Imports, Examine Russia’s Access to WTO, Hold Russia Accountable for Humanitarian Violations

The bipartisan legislative package will ban the import of Russian oil to the U.S., take steps to review Russia’s access to the World Trade Organization, and enable the U.S. to impose further sanctions on Russia

  WASHINGTON, DC—Tonight, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and the U.S. House of Representatives took action to hold President Putin and Russia accountable for their unprovoked war against Ukraine. The Suspending Energy Imports from Russia Act, which garnered strong support from both sides of the aisle, will further isolate Russia from the global economy by banning U.S. imports of Russian oil and energy products, reviewing Russia’s access to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and reauthorizing and strengthening the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which will enable the U.S. to impose further sanctions on Russia.

“By passing this bill, the House has moved to strengthen our national security and reinforce our support for the people of Ukraine during this unjust and bloody war,” said Pingree. “Make no mistake, the U.S. will continue to hold Putin accountable and do everything we can to support Ukraine through this humanitarian crisis. President Biden’s and the House’s unified actions today will further cut Russia off from the global economy—making it clear that their aggressions toward a sovereign nation will not go unpunished by the free world.”

Specifically, the bill:

  • Requires the U.S. Trade Representative to use the voice and influence of the United States to condemn the recent aggression in Ukraine, to encourage other WTO members to suspend trade concessions to Russia, and to consider further steps with the view to suspend Russia’s participation in the WTO.
  • Reauthorizes and strengthens the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act so that the United States can impose further sanctions on Russia.
  • Bans the import from Russia of energy products classified under Chapter 27 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, including crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal and coal products.
  • Provides the President the authority to allow the import of certain energy products from Russia if the importation is pursuant to a written contract or agreement entered into before enactment. Also provides the President the authority to waive the ban on one or more energy imports from Russia, if the President certifies such a waiver is in the national interest of the United States. Congress has the authority to overrule such waiver decision through a congressional disapproval process.

In 2012, Congress took bipartisan action with the Magnitsky Act to impose sanctions on human rights abusers in Russia, while also normalizing trade relations.  This standard was expanded in 2016 to apply globally: broadening the human rights abuses that can be punished with sanctions and bolstering coordination with our partners.  The new House bill extends Global Magnitsky so that the U.S. can continue to punish Russia for its attacks on Ukrainian civilians and its violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In addition to these measures, Congress is working to enact emergency funding that includes billions in humanitarian, military, and economic support for Ukraine as part of the omnibus government funding legislation. This funding comes on top of the nearly $1 billion we have committed in security assistance for Ukraine over the past year.

On Tuesday, President Biden issued an Executive Order (E.O.) to prohibit certain energy imports from Russia and new investment in the energy sector in Russia by a United States person in response to Russia’s continued efforts to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. This E.O. prohibits the importation into the United States of the following products of Russia origin: crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products, effective immediately, with certain exceptions for existing contracts. 


On Monday, Pingree cosponsored the Ban Russian Energy Imports Act, a bicameral, bipartisan bill to ban the United States from importing Russian crude oil, petroleum, petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, and coal. 




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