Senators attempt to come to an agreement over a package of economic measures aimed at Moscow
A group of US senators has proposed a package of tough anti-Russia sanctions in an attempt to break the deadlock between Democrats and Republicans, who thus far have failed to agree on how to punish Moscow if it launches an invasion of Ukraine.
The suggested measures, put forward by 32 members of the Republican Party, include a plan to stop the controversial Nord Stream 2 project, a recently completed pipeline that connects Russia’s natural gas supply directly with Germany, without going through any third countries.
The new bill is named the Never Yield Europe’s Territory (NYET) Act, inspired by the Russian word for ‘No’.
The draft legislation, introduced on Tuesday, would immediately “mandate sanctions” on the Nord Stream 2 project in the case of a Russian invasion.
Tuesday’s settlement of the NYET Act comes during a period that has seen disagreements in the Senate between Republican and Democrat legislators. The decision around whether or not to target the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has caused friction, and a bipartisan conclusion on the anti-Russia sanctions has not yet been reached.
Senators hope that the bill, which would also impose sanctions on major Russian banks, will dissuade Russian President Vladimir Putin from invading Ukraine, a move US President Joe Biden on Thursday predicted could take place “in the next several days.”
The bill is also meant as a sign of American solidarity with Ukraine and Europe, and a promise of Washington’s support should an invasion occur.
Another measure in the bill would provide for $500 million in Foreign Military Financing by sanctioning Putin’s “cronies, enablers, and major banks.” This would come on top of funding the US government has already given to Ukraine, which, last year, totalled $450 million in security assistance, according to retired US Navy official John Kirby.