U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

10/28/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/28/2020 18:14

Menendez Calls for New Sanctions on Russian Military Intelligence Officers for Cyberattacks

October 28, 2020

Menendez Calls for New Sanctions on Russian Military Intelligence Officers for Cyberattacks

'The threat of malign Russian cyber activity is real, and the Treasury Department must send a message of zero tolerance to the Russian government to deter future attacks.'

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is calling on the Trump administration to impose targeted sanctions on five Russian nationals recently indicted by the Justice Department for a series of recent cyberattacks across the world perpetrated to further Russian interests. In a letter addressed to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Ranking Member Menendez urged the administration to counter such threats to American security with all of the tools at its disposal, specifically through the imposition of sanctions under Section 224 of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

'The Russian government's ongoing cyberattacks targeting U.S. individuals, companies, and institutions remain a significant threat to our country's security,' Ranking Member Menendez wrote. 'The threat of malign Russian cyber activity is real, and the Treasury Department must send a message of zero tolerance to the Russian government to deter future attacks.'

A copy of the letter may be found HERE and below.

Dear Secretary Mnuchin:

I write to urge you to impose sanctions under Section 224 of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on five Russian nationals recently indicted by the Justice Department for cybercrime offenses. At the time of the indictment, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers warned that 'No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia, wantonly causing unprecedented damage to pursue small tactical advantages and to satisfy fits of spite.' The threat of malign Russian cyber activity is real, and the Treasury Department must send a message of zero tolerance to the Russian government to deter future attacks.

In the October 15 indictment, six individuals face charges related to the use of destructive malware to gain unauthorized access to victims' computers 'for the strategic benefit of Russia.' Their targets included 'thousands of U.S. and international corporations, organizations, and political campaigns and parties; foreign governments; entities and corporations associated with the 2018 Winter Olympic Games; and their respective employees.' The charged individuals were officers working for Military Unit 74455 of the Russian intelligence Main Directorate, also known as the GRU.

I urge you to act swiftly to impose sanctions under Section 224(a)(1) of CAATSA on the following individuals charged on October 15[1]:

1) YURIY SERGEYEVICH ANDRIENKO

2) SERGEY VLADIMIROVICH DETISTOV

3) PAVEL VALERYEVICH FROLOV

4) ARTEM VALERYEVICH OCHICHENKO

5) PETR NIKOLAYEVICH PLISKIN

The Russian government's ongoing cyberattacks targeting U.S. individuals, companies, and institutions remain a significant threat to our country's security. The United States must counter this threat with all of the tools at our disposal, including CAATSA 224 sanctions.

Sincerely,

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