Coats wants to sanction Russian arms company

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) is introducing an amendment that would slap sanctions on Russian state arms firm Rosoboronexport.

Coats, who was himself sanctioned by the Russians last week, argued that Rosoboronexport should face sanctions as Moscow’s state arms exporter.

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“Taking steps to meaningfully obstruct Rosoboronexport’s work and the revenue it provides the Russian state is among the most effective ways we can condemn Putin’s recent aggression,” Coats said in a statement.

The amendment to the Senate’s Ukraine aid bill takes aim at a Russian company that has long been in the congressional crosshairs, as it has been the Pentagon’s supplier of Mi-17 helicopters for the Afghan army.

The Pentagon said in November it would cut ties with the Russian company after facing pressure from Congress.

But in the wake of Russia’s intervention in Crimea, lawmakers have pressed the Pentagon to cancel the contracts that have already been awarded.

Coats’s amendment may face difficult odds, however, as it’s unclear whether amendments will be allowed on the Ukraine bill.

The bill, which has a procedural vote scheduled for Monday evening, was already delayed over the congressional recess after some Republicans objected.