Johnson, Durbin Urge Stronger Response to Russian Aggression in Ukraine

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), and 39 of their colleagues introduced a resolution calling for a prompt multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea and the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in response to Russia’s recent aggressive actions in the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov.

“The United States and our allies need to rapidly counter Russia’s military aggression in the Kerch Strait with strong and resolute action,” Sen. Johnson said. “Assembling a multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea to help ensure safe passage into the Sea of Azov, combined with cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is exactly the kind of response Putin needs to see.”

“The recent provocative military actions from Russia and revelations about its extensive cyber disinformation campaigns in the U.S. are warnings to the rest of the world that Vladimir Putin has no intention of stopping his aggressive campaign against Western democracies or Ukraine,” said Sen. Durbin.  “The world must work together to stop this Russian assault on democracy and Ukraine sovereignty. I am proud to support this resolution and urge my colleagues to reaffirm this message of deterring further aggression from the Russian Federation.”

“Ukraine is the front line of Vladimir Putin’s struggle against the free world and, last month, Russia’s attack on Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait marked a dangerous escalation of that conflict. We have to respond, and respond with strength. Weakness will only provoke further aggression. The United States must enhance our lethal aid to Ukraine, especially to enhance its maritime capabilities. And working together with our European allies, we should conduct freedom of navigation operations in the Black Sea to deter further bullying. Ukraine has never asked Americans or Europeans to do their fighting for them. They have asked only that we give them the tools they need to defend themselves and their country. Ukrainians need and deserve our help. This resolution is the right step,” said Sen. Inhofe.

Full text of the resolution can be found here.

Sen. Johnson is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation and Sen. Durbin is Senate Minority Whip. Joining Sens. Johnson and Durbin in cosponsoring the resolution were Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation; and Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).