An amendment attached to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s mark of the Fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill looks to sanction Russia’s state agency responsible for exporting Russian weapons systems and defense-related products. If approved, the sanctions would impact the Pentagon’s contract to provide the Afghan Air Force with 30 Mi-17 helicopters. So far, 12 Mi-17s have been delivered under a $553.8 million contract, reported The Hill. “The United States should re-impose sanctions on Rosoboronexport and end all government contracts with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s arms dealer,” said Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.), who authored an identical bill earlier in the month, in a statement. “The Armed Services Committee has taken the right step, and it is now time for the full Senate to approve this targeted economic sanction that will harm Russian interests without damaging America’s economy.”The House version of the 2015 NDAA, which passed May 22, disallows future contracts, but does not terminate contracts currently underway.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.