The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has approved and recommended for approval a resolution calling for increased defense assistance to Ukraine and the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. This information was posted to the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States’ Facebook page.
Senators are asking the US President to conduct an urgent joint operation with American allies to ensure freedom of navigation in the Black Sea. In so doing, the US aims to support internationally recognized borders, bilateral agreements and the principle of safe vessel passage between the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov.
Ten senators from the Democratic and Republican parties co-authored the document. They call on Donald Trump to take advantage of the provisions of the law on national defense in the US budget to strengthen the capacity of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as well as provide additional support for Ukraine’s security policy through appropriate State Department and Pentagon programs. The purpose of the document is to strengthen Ukraine’s maritime capabilities and to prevent and counter further Russian aggression.
“The policymakers also implore NATO to strengthen Alliance’s presence and capabilities in the Black Sea, seeking for the organization to monitor the situation at sea and implement coastal defense.” The document further reads that, “In a separate communication, the senators also press European allies and partners to refuse Russian Navy ships the ability to resupply and refuel in their ports.”
The document emphasizes that the sanctions against the Russian Federation are a consequence of the country’s use of power and that sanctions will remain in effect until there is a change in Russian behavior.
In February 2019, a group of US senators submitted a bill providing the basis for additional sanctions against the Russian Federation in response to “Russian interference in the work of democratic institutions abroad” and for its aggression against Ukraine. The proposed list of sanctions was divided into two parts. The first includes sanctions in response to Russia's interference “in democratic institutions abroad” and the second, sanctions aimed at investing in Russian LNG projects outside of the Russian Federation. The bill also includes sanctions related to Russian sovereign debt.