13:49 Jun. 5, 2016
U.S. sending taxpayer dollars to Russian entities controlled by sanctioned individuals, lawmaker argues
Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) on Thursday penned a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew expressing concern that the U.S. government is "selectively" enforcing sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Crimea.
McCain suggested that the Obama administration is giving special treatment to a Russian rocket manufacturer that due to a recent restructuring fell under control of Russia's federal space agency, Roscosmos. The United States currently purchases Russian RD-180 rocket engines from the manufacturer, known as NPO Energomash, to use during national security space launches.
"I write to express my concern with the appearance of selective enforcement of sanctions imposed in response to the invasion of Crimea by the Russian Federation," McCain wrote. "I am particularly troubled that, today, the Administration is allowing for the procurement of rocket engines for military space launches that result in the payment of money to a Russian state-owned corporation controlled by officers and directors who have been individually sanctioned in connection with the invasion."
A pair of executive orders signed by President Obama in March 2014 placed economic sanctions on individuals and entities deemed by the U.S. government to have contributed to the conflict in Ukraine. Full story