Spending bill prohibits contracts with Russian arms dealer

Government And Institutions Associated Press

The Pentagon would be barred from entering into any contract with a Russian state arms dealer under a provision of the $1.1 trillion spending bill.

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The sweeping package includes a prohibition on Defense Department dealings with Rosoboronexport or any of its subsidiaries until Russia has withdrawn from the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine or the company has stopped transferring lethal military equipment to the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad.

Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas has pushed for the provision that enjoys strong bipartisan support. Democratic Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia also has targeted purchases from the arms dealer.

The United States has purchased helicopters from the state-owned arms dealer for the Afghan air force.