At Democracy Summit, US Will Urge Countries to Use Sanctions

The US plans to sanction foreign government officials ahead of the summit

At the upcoming Summit for Democracy hosted by President Biden, the US will urge other countries to start using sanctions against government officials Washington deems to be “corrupt,” The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Citing unnamed Biden administration officials, the report said the US will slap sanctions on foreign-government officials and other people the US accuses of corruption and human rights abuses ahead of the virtual summit that will be held on Thursday and Friday.

“Over the course of the week, Treasury will take a series of actions to designate individuals who are engaged in malign activities that undermine democracy and democratic institutions around the world including corruption, repression, organized crime, and serious human rights abuse,” one official said.

The measures will be levied under the Magnitsky Act, a law the US uses to target individuals with sanctions. The US’s allies have adopted new laws to be able to join the US in sanctioning officials, including the EU, the UK, Canada, and now Australia, which passed new rules Thursday.

The US invited over 100 countries to the summit and snubbed Russia and China by leaving them out. China is also angered by the fact that Taiwan will be participating.

Russia and China have both denounced the summit as another example of the US dividing the world into Cold War-style blocs and slammed Washington for making itself the arbiter of what is considered a democracy.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.