Senators Ask Treasury to Sanction Russian Banks Helping Syrian Regime

Vladimir Putin / AP

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A bipartisan group of senators asked Treasury Secretary Jack Lew in a letter sent Friday to put sanctions on Russian banks that have helped Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.

Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.), John Cornyn (R., Texas), and Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) asked Lew to prevent those Russian banks from doing business in the United States.

"Russian bank support violates international sanctions by enabling Syria to pay for imports and receive funds for exports," the senators wrote. "This assistance eases much of the financial burden on the Assad regime, allowing it to continue military purchases and pay the soldiers that sustain the war in Syria. … It is now more critical than ever that you swiftly designate those financial institutions that have profited from violating sanctions to prop up the Syrian regime."

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