Corker, Senate Republicans Introduce Strategic U.S. Response to Deter Russian Aggression in Europe
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced legislation with 22 Senate Republicans providing a strategic U.S. response to deter Russian aggression in Europe, which threatens regional security and prosperity that is critical for maintaining economic growth in the United States.
“Rather than react to events as they unfold, which has been the policy of this administration, we need to inflict more direct consequences on Russia prior to Vladimir Putin taking additional steps that will be very difficult to undo,” said Corker. “Our legislation takes a three-prong approach to prevent the situation from becoming far worse. This bill will strengthen NATO, impose tough sanctions to deter Russia and support non-NATO allies of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.”
The Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 is cosponsored by Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John Thune (R-.S.D.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Richard Burr (R-N.C.).
Key provisions of the Russian Aggression Prevention Act are included below. Legislative text and a section-by-section bill summary are available below.
- Increases substantially U.S. and NATO support for the armed forces
of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, as well as other countries
determined appropriate by the president.
- Requires the president to accelerate implementation of missile defense in Europe and provide other missile defense support for our NATO allies.
- Places immediate new sanctions on any Russian officials and agents
involved in the illegal occupation of Crimea, as well as on corrupt
Russian officials and their supporters, and broadens and solidifies the
sanctions already imposed by the administration.
- Imposes immediate new sanctions tied to the destabilization of
eastern Ukraine on four key Russian banks: Sberbank, VTB Bank, VEB Bank,
Gazprombank, as well as on the Gazprom, Novatek, Rosneft energy
monopolies, and Rosoboronexport, the major Russian arms dealer.
- If Russian armed forces cross further into, or Russia further annexes, the sovereign territory of Ukraine or any other country, even tougher sanctions would (1) cut all senior Russian officials, their companies, and their supporters off from the world’s financial system; (2) target any Russian entities owned by the Russian government or sanctioned individuals across the arms, defense, energy, financial services, metals, or mining sectors in Russia; (3) and cut Russian banks off from the U.S. banking system.
- Authorizes the president to provide $100 million worth of direct
military assistance to Ukraine, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft
weapons and small arms, based on a needs and capabilities assessment of
the Ukrainian armed forces. It also encourages the sharing of
intelligence with Ukraine.
- Provides authority for exports of U.S. natural gas to all WTO members, including key countries in Europe, and provides support to encourage the U.S. private sector to invest in energy projects in Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.
- Impose significant diplomatic measures on Russia, limits Russia’s access to advanced U.S. oil and gas technologies, provides support for Russian civil society, and focuses U.S. attention on corruption in Russia, potential treaty violations, and other strategically important matters.
- Provides Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia with major non-NATO ally status to facilitate their access to military equipment and expands U.S. and NATO military exercises and training with key non-NATO states. It also prohibits U.S. recognition of the annexation of Crimea and provides support for civil society activities in former Soviet countries, as well as expands U.S. government counter-propaganda efforts in such countries.
As I am looking ahead to the next Presidential election I notice the absence of the names of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or Mike Lee as co-sponsors on this list. I am disappointed that few of the rising stars in the Republican Party have joined in supporting this resolution. America still has an important roll to play in the world and the world is still a dangerous place. I will not be supporting anyone for President who thinks the Obama response to Russian aggression has been adequate.