April 19, 2022

Manchin, Scott Lead Bipartisan, Bicameral Effort to Block IMF Financing of Putin's Invasion of Ukraine

Charleston, WV – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Rick Scott (R-FL), members of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), introduced bipartisan legislation which would prohibit the U.S. Treasury Secretary from exchanging dollars for International Monetary Fund (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) held by Russia or Belarus. Russia and Belarus’ SDRs currently total more than $25 billion and represent unconditional liquidity for the Putin and Lukashenko dictatorships. The Russia and Belarus SDR Exchange Prohibition Act would block the funds from continuing to finance Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Representative French Hill (R-AR) has proposed companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“Limiting the international financial support for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine must be a top priority for the United States and our allies. Our bipartisan, bicameral bill will prohibit the IMF from financing this unprovoked invasion by limiting Special Drawing Rights held by Russia and Belarus. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join our bipartisan legislation to limit Russia’s financing of this horrific war,” said Senator Manchin.

“As Russia wages war against Ukraine and threatens democracy in Europe, the United States cannot allow the IMF to be its piggy bank and finance these attacks. Without this legislation, IMF countries could provide Putin and his thugs in Belarus with relief from the devastating sanctions that America and our fellow democracies have levied and open channels to funding from Communist China to fuel Russia’s genocide and unjust war. This bill is an important step to again make clear that the United States stands firmly with the people of Ukraine and will continue to punish Russia, and its evil ally Belarus, until Ukraine wins this war and Russia retreats. I am proud to partner with Senator Manchin and Congressman Hill on this important legislation, and urge all of our colleagues to support this bill,” said Senator Scott.

“I’ve warned about the dangers of the IMF’s mistaken policy on SDRs for years and we should be very concerned about Russia’s ability to exchange its SDRs for Chinese renminbi, especially as it turns to China for trade and liquidity in response to sanctions. This bill is another effort to constrain the Russian and Belarus economies by preventing them from exchanging their IMF assets to further fund their illegal war and commit atrocities on the people of Ukraine. I thank my friends, Senator Scott and Senator Manchin, for leading this effort in the Senate and introducing companion legislation to my bill, H.R. 6899, the Russia and Belarus SDR Exchange Prohibition Act,” said Representative Hill.

The Russia and Belarus SDR Exchange Prohibition Act would:
  • Prohibit the Treasury Secretary from engaging in any transaction involving the exchange of SDRs held by Russia or Belarus;
  • Require the Treasury Secretary to advocate for all IMF member countries to also prohibit transactions involving the exchange of SDRs held by Russia or Belarus; and
  • Give the president a national interest waiver and sunset after 5 years or 30 days after the president reports to Congress that Russia has ceased its aggression undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The full text of the bill is available here.