Jan 13 2022
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on a bill that would impose mandatory sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which could hamstring President Biden’s ongoing negotiations with the country:
“The Senate today voted on a proposal to impose mandatory sanctions against any individual or entity involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany. I voted against this proposal for two reasons.
“First, the United States is currently engaged in diplomatic discussions with the goal of preventing Russia from invading Ukraine. While there is longstanding bipartisan opposition to the pipeline, any bill that would eliminate the president’s diplomatic flexibility would almost certainly upend negotiations, undermine our alliance with Europe and could even make Russian military action against Ukraine more likely.
“Second, politics traditionally has ended at the water’s edge, with Congress affording presidents the flexibility to negotiate during times of crisis. The Senate should not be voting to impose mandatory sanctions on a foreign nation in the midst of high-level diplomatic negotiations.
“Let me be clear: President Putin is intent on destabilizing Europe for political gain and even now has about 100,000 troops massing on the border with Ukraine. But we won’t solve this issue by handcuffing the president’s diplomatic efforts.
“I strongly support a bill introduced by Senator Menendez that would expedite security assistance to Ukraine and impose even stronger sanctions on Russia if the president determines that Moscow has significantly increased hostilities against Ukraine. We need to support President Biden’s efforts to deescalate tensions in the region by focusing on Russia’s actions toward Ukraine. Senator Menendez’s bill would do just that.”