WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) introduced the Stop Russian GOLD Act, a bipartisan bill to prevent Russia’s Central Bank from using its extensive gold reserves to fund its unprovoked war against Ukraine. Rep. Fitzpatrick was joined in introducing this legislation by U.S. Reps. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Peter Meijer (MI-03), Joe Wilson (SC-02), and Susie Lee (NV-03).
Russia is currently one of the biggest sovereign gold-owners in the world, with gold making up roughly 20% (approximately $130 billion USD) of the country’s total reserves. Since the international community began enforcing sanctions on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian government has been buying more gold – for the first time in two years – as the value of the ruble crashes.
“As the leader of the free world, the U.S. cannot afford to inflict weakly enforced half-measures when it comes to economic sanctions against Russia. We must continue to do everything in our power to fully isolate Putin and his cronies,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “Our bipartisan Stop Russian GOLD Act takes the crippling sanctions the US has already imposed one step further by freezing Russia’s gold reserves that are helping fund Putin’s war machine.”
“As Ukrainian civilians are fleeing for their lives, we have to make the consequences for Putin’s barbarism as painful as possible for him and his regime, and we need to slam shut every door he could try to use to evade sanctions,” said Rep. Slotkin. “This is a bipartisan effort to shut one of those doors and make sure Russia can’t use its gold reserves to fund the atrocities being carried out across Ukraine. Our bill will close this loophole and block another potential revenue stream that would otherwise be used to prop up Putin’s regime and continue to fund his war against the Ukrainian people.”
“The existing loophole in current sanctions that allows Russia to liquidate gold reserves enables Putin and his cronies to continue financing their criminal war in Ukraine,” said Rep. Meijer. “Our bill closes this loophole, ensuring that Putin’s vile regime finds no way around the United States’ and the international community’s crippling sanctions. We must continue all efforts that guarantee his government feels maximum pain from economic and diplomatic isolation.”
“The tough sanctions we’ve levied against Russia have sent its economy into absolute freefall,” said Rep. Lee. “But we must continue to paralyze Russia using every tool we have. Not only will this bill close a critical loophole that allows Russia to fund its illegal, unjust war by selling off gold reserves, it will also block Russian leaders from getting around the strong sanctions coordinated by the U.S. and our allies. I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this bipartisan legislation to cut off Putin from the capital he needs to finance his brutal, unprovoked war against the sovereign democratic nation of Ukraine.”
“As Putin continues his brutal assault on the people of Ukraine, we must close any loophole allowing Putin to soften the blow of US sanctions by liquidating gold reserves,” said Rep. Wilson. “Putin must pay the full price for his crimes against humanity.”
“As Russia’s economy collapses, we must continue to cut off funds for Putin’s unjustified, unprovoked war,” said Rep. Sherrill. “This bipartisan legislation closes a loophole to prevent Putin and his allies from circumventing sanctions through the sale of gold and other commodities. I stand with the people of Ukraine, and I am committed to ensuring that Putin’s Russia faces devastating consequences for perpetrating this violence.”
The Stop Russian GOLD Act is being led in the Senate by a bipartisan group including Sens. John Cornyn (TX), Maggie Hassan (NH), Bill Hagerty (TN) and Angus King (ME).
The full text of the bill is available HERE.
The Stop Russian GOLD Act would:
- Close a loophole in existing restrictions on Russia by imposing secondary sanctions to anyone transacting with or transporting gold from Russia’s Central Bank holdings or selling gold physically or electronically in Russia; and
- Directs the U.S. Treasury Department to develop clear compliance guidelines for U.S. citizens to ensure Americans avoid unknowingly investing in or transacting with Russian gold.