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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

GOP’s Top Foreign Relations Sen. Pushes Stronger Russian Deterrence in NYET Act

'Those of us who called for more definitive action from the Biden Administration and our allies have unfortunately been proven right... '

(Joshua Paladino, Headline USA) Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho., called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “madman” as he pushed for Congress to pass his “NYET Act,” which would punish Russia, give Ukraine financial and lethal military aid, and boost America’s presence in Eastern Europe, according to a press release.

Risch introduced the Never Yielding Europe’s Territory Act on Feb. 15, more than a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. “Nyet” means “no” in Russian.

“Anyone who is surprised by Putin’s deadly attack on a sovereign nation has not been paying attention,” he said. “These are the actions of a madman.”

Risch hoped that the sanctions and military preparations would forestall a Russian assault, but he still wants to pass the bill in hopes that Putin will call off the annexation and invasion.

“Those of us who called for more definitive action from the Biden Administration and our allies have unfortunately been proven right,” Risch said on the day that Russia invaded. “We cannot afford to wait any longer, we must take more decisive action.”

The bill would sanction the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will transmit Russian natural gas to Germany upon completion, and put sanctions on Russian banks and financiers.

The NYET Act would also give Ukraine $500 in Foreign Military Financing, including $100 million for emergency lethal assistance for critical capabilities like air defense, anti-armor, and anti-ship capabilities.”

Risch’s bill would create a Ukraine Resistance Fund, establish a program for Ukraine similar to the US-USSR Lend-Lease program in WWII, and speed weapons sales to Ukraine.

Thirty two Republicans joined Risch, the Ranking Member on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, in introducing the NYET Act, and Risch called on Democrats to support the bill’s passage.

“We have an obligation to do this as Americans, as the strongest country in the world,” he said. “We can’t stand by and watch this slaughter that is happening.”

The NYET Act would escalate America’s military involvement in Europe, too, by “doubling funding for U.S. military exercises in Europe” and by “boosting funding for State Department efforts to counter Russian disinformation.”

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