WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Senator Rick Scott, Senator Joe Manchin and Congressman French Hill applauded the Senate’s final passage of their bipartisan, bicameral Russia and Belarus SDR Exchange Prohibition Act to prohibit the U.S. Treasury Secretary from exchanging dollars for International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) held by Russia or Belarus. Russia and Belarus’ SDRs currently total more than $25 billion and represent unconditional liquidity for the Putin and Lukashenko dictatorships, which is being used to finance the invasion of Ukraine. This legislation previously passed the House and now heads to the president’s desk to become law.
Senator Rick Scott said, “As Russia wages war against Ukraine and threatens democracy in Europe, the United States cannot allow the IMF to be its piggy bank and finance these attacks. For too long, IMF countries were able to provide Putin and his thugs in Belarus with relief from the devastating sanctions that America and our fellow democracies have levied and open channels to funding from Communist China to fuel Russia’s genocide and unjust war. Passing this bill is an important step to again make clear that the United States stands firmly with the people of Ukraine and will continue to punish Russia, and its evil ally Belarus, until Ukraine fully wins this war and Russia retreats. I am proud to join Senator Manchin and Congressman Hill to lead this bipartisan, bicameral effort, and look forward to it becoming law.”
Senator Joe Manchin said, “Limiting the international financial support for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine must be a top priority for the United States and our allies. Our bipartisan, bicameral bill will prohibit the IMF from financing this unprovoked invasion by limiting Special Drawing Rights held by Russia and Belarus. I’m thrilled Congress passed our bipartisan legislation to limit Russia’s financing of this horrific war and look forward to the President signing our bill into law.”
Congressman French Hill said, “I’ve warned about the dangers of the IMF’s mistaken policy on SDRs for years. This bill is another effort to constrain the Russian and Belarus economies by preventing them from exchanging their IMF assets to further fund their illegal war and commit atrocities on the people of Ukraine. I thank my friends, Senator Scott and Senator Manchin, for leading this effort in the Senate and introducing companion legislation to my bill, H.R. 6899, the Russia and Belarus SDR Exchange Prohibition Act, and I’m hopeful President Biden will sign it into law soon.”
The Russia and Belarus SDR Exchange Prohibition Act:
- Prohibits the Treasury Secretary from engaging in any transaction involving the exchange of SDRs held by Russia and Belarus;
- Requires the Treasury Secretary to advocate for all IMF member countries to also prohibit transactions involving the exchange of SDRs held by Russia and Belarus; and
- Gives the president a national interest waiver AND sunset after 5 years or 30 days after the President reports to Congress that Russia has ceased its aggression undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.