Congress Moves to Sanction Russians for Mercenary Surge in Libya

Congress Moves to Sanction Russians for Mercenary Surge in Libya
AP Photo/Ricard Garcia Vilanova

Congress is preparing bipartisan sanctions on Russian mercenaries and other suspected human rights violators in Libya, Al-Monitor has learned, as the Donald Trump administration looks to use the recent entry of Moscow-linked paramilitaries into the conflict to reinvigorate a long-dormant American strategy in the war-torn country.

Foreign relations committee member Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are set to introduce legislation codifying Treasury Department sanctions to limit Russian proxy activity. The bill would require President Trump to slap visa bans and freeze US property for arms traffickers, those illegally exploiting Libya's vast supplies of crude oil and human rights abusers.

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