Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today applauded the passage of a provision requiring the Pentagon to cut ties with the Russian state arms dealer, Rosoboronexport, which is arming the Assad regime in Syria. Included as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, the provision prohibits the Defense Department from entering into any future contracts with Rosoboronexport.
"It is simply an unacceptable use of taxpayer dollars for the Pentagon to purchase helicopters for the Afghan Security Forces from a Russian state arms dealer that is also enabling President Bashar al-Assad regime to continue to commit mass atrocities against his own people," DeLauro said. "I am proud to have worked in a bipartisan, commonsense way to prevent the Pentagon from continuing to enter into contracts with Rosoboronexport and look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that any future contracts to purchase helicopters for the Afghans are competitively bid."
"The American taxpayer should not be indirectly subsidizing the mass murder of Syrian civilians, especially when there are perfectly good alternatives for purchasing aircraft through U.S. brokers," said Cornyn. "Continuing this robust business relationship with Rosoboronexport would continue to undermine U.S. efforts to stand with the Syrian people."
The final version of the National Defense Authorization Act passed the House of Representatives yesterday and the Senate today. It now heads to the President for his signature. DeLauro and Cornyn spearheaded the effort in their respective chambers to ensure the Pentagon will no longer be able to purchase arms from Rosoboronexport.