(PresidentialInsider.com)- This week, Democrats in the Senate unveiled a new bill that would impose new sweeping sanctions on some of the top military and government officials in Russia if the country were to escalate hostilities with Ukraine.
The legislation, which the White House backs, would put sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin as well as some of the country’s key financial institutions. The bill also includes provisions that would bolster the security of Ukraine, while encouraging the U.S. to “consider all available and appropriate measures” to make sure that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline — which would run from Germany to Russia — doesn’t become operational.
The bill labeled that pipeline as a “tool of malign influence of the Russian Federation.” Robert Menendez, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, unveiled the bill this week, accompanying it with a statement that read:
“This legislation makes it absolutely clear that the U.S. Senate will not stand idly by as the Kremlin threatens a re-invasion of Ukraine.”
In recent months, Russia has sent around 100,000 troops to its border with Ukraine. The White House, meanwhile, is attempting to dissuade Russia from invading its neighbor to the west.
The proposed legislation would also target Russian companies that offer systems of secure messaging, including SWIFT, which is a tool that banks use to exchange vital information with many other financial institutions.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council recently said the legislation would “trigger severe costs to Russia’s economy” if the country were to decide to invade Ukraine.
This new bill being put forth by Democrats would accomplish two liberal agendas. First, it would give liberal senators an option to put a halt on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a $11 billion project that has already been completed by hasn’t been approved by Germany just yet.
Second, it would make it more difficult for Republican Senator Ted Cruz to pass similar legislation he put forth recently. According to the spokesperson from the NSC, Cruz’s bill would “not counter further Russian aggression or protect Ukraine.”
Instead, the spokesperson said the bill Cruz is planning to put forth would put sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline within 15 days after it passes, no matter whether Russia decides to invade Ukraine or not. It would also allow Congress to take up a vote on whether to reinstate sanctions should President Joe Biden decide to waive them.
Cruz has said that he believes it’s essential that the project stops immediately before it is able to become operational — regardless of Russia’s military actions with Ukraine.
That would be in line with what Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the president of Ukraine, believes as well. He said the sanctions need to be immediately imposed, saying that the pipeline’s operation poses a “material security and economic threat to Europe,” according to a source close to the president.
That source continued:
“Kyiv is vehemently opposed to any policy that allows Russia to use invasion threats to get what it wants in other areas.”