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Tags: biden administration | russia | sanctions | embassy | moscow | ukraine | war

US Spending $8 Million-Plus on Russian Embassy Contracts

By    |   Wednesday, 21 February 2024 12:53 PM EST

Despite imposing sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration has spent more than $8 million on local contracts to maintain its embassy in Moscow, Newsweek reported.

One Russian company awarded a contract later was placed under sanction by Canada.

While the White House prepares additional "major sanctions" on Russia in response to opposition leader Alexei Navalny's death in an Arctic penal colony, some lawmakers and campaign groups have taken issue with the embassy contracts.

"Even if these contracts are relatively small, I voted on legislation to halt American investments into Russia, and providing jobs for their citizens is doing just that," Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho, said, Newsweek reported Wednesday.

The outlet said the U.S., since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, has awarded 41 contracts amounting to $8,054,780.36 to 12 Russian companies. Additional estimates of potential ongoing work could run the total to more than $13 million.

The services provided include maintaining the embassy (e.g. painting, repair work), landscaping, management consulting, transportation, and janitorial work.

The U.S. government has suggested it is not feasible to use non-Russian companies, though one source told Newsweek the U.S. ceased using certain Libyan-owned products and businesses for its diplomatic mission in Tripoli after the North African nation was under sanction following the fall of the Moammar Gadhafi regime.

Some experts have expressed concern some money will be directed to sanctioned companies or oligarchs.

"Oligarchs' business dealings are often very heavily disguised through this web of shell companies and anonymous owners," said Robert Barrington, professor of anti-corruption practice at the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex in the U.K., Newsweek reported.

Another concern is the potential bugging by the Russians. In fact, the current embassy was built at a cost of $240 million and opened in 2000 after the previous structure was demolished due to concern it contained surveillance systems installed over the years by Russian workers.

In saying the rebuilt embassy "wasted tax dollars and time," Fulcher added to Newsweek, "Let's not repeat history here."

Steve Myers, who formerly served on the U.S. Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, told Newsweek that Americans can "count on the Russians to spy on our embassy to the maximum extent possible."

Myers, though, added the U.S. has developed "very effective processes and countermeasures to safeguard classified communication and information."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
Despite imposing sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, the Biden administration has spent more than $8 million on local contracts to maintain its embassy in Moscow, Newsweek reported.
biden administration, russia, sanctions, embassy, moscow, ukraine, war
402
2024-53-21
Wednesday, 21 February 2024 12:53 PM
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