Hagerty, Hill, Lead Bicameral Letter to Block Russian Access to Further IMF Financing

February 28, 2022

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Representative French Hill (R-AR-02), along with 39 other members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, today sent a letter urging U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to get International Monetary Fund member countries to not facilitate any exchange of Russia’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRS).

A copy of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear Secretary Yellen:

We write today to urge the Biden Administration to advocate, on behalf of the United States, at the International Monetary Fund that all member countries formally agree to not facilitate any exchange of Russia’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and oppose any additional SDR allocation that bolsters Russian reserves.

The hostile invasion of Ukraine this week demonstrates why the IMF should have never approved its latest $650 billion general allocation of SDRs in August 2021. As Republicans have repeatedly raised, general SDR allocations are not targeted and have no conditions on what the SDRs can be used for.

The Biden Administration’s support for the IMF’s $650 billion general allocation, of which more than $17 billion went to Russia, ran counter to U.S. sanctions against Moscow even before the invasion of Ukraine. We cannot allow these reserve assets to help the regime withstand the latest sanctions announced by the President, let alone offer additional billions through further allocations. Moreover, the U.S. needs to work with allies on the IMF Board to plan for contingencies if Russia is forced to approach the Fund for lending. The IMF should not rescue a regime that poses such a threat to global economic stability.

As the largest shareholder of the IMF, the United States has a responsibility to ensure that the Fund is not misused to support Russia’s warmongering in Ukraine. We urge you to take all necessary measures to prevent this.