Crisis in Ukraine: the US Senate approves a resolution and denounces Russian military aggression

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The US Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to show its steadfast support for an independent Ukraine and ‘condemn’ Russian military aggression against its neighbor as fresh fears emerged of a possible invasion that could escalate into a European war .

The action in the Senate came after President Joe Biden said the United States had “every indication” of a possible Russian attack on Ukraine within days. US officials have described grim scenarios of President Vladimir Putin’s potential plans as Russian troops remain massed on the Ukrainian border.

The senators’ resolution does not have the force of law but publicly declares the US legislature with “unwavering United States support for a secure, democratic and independent Ukraine” and “denounces the build-up of the Russian military” on the border Ukrainian. The vote was unanimous, without objection or formal appeal.

“This Congress is united in its support for Ukrainian independence and sovereignty,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, as he introduced the measure with Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and others. .

Senators have been racing all week to organize a response to rising tensions in the region, many eager to go even further by imposing devastating sanctions on Putin that would send shockwaves through the Russian economy.

Ukraine has strong allies in the Senate, where there is broad support for sanctions against Russia as a powerful foreign policy tool to use if Putin continues his aggression against Ukraine.

Amid high-stakes diplomatic efforts to remove Russia from any invasion plans, senators withheld legislation sanctioning Russia, relying on the White House’s own strategy to exit the crisis that could arise. spread across Europe.

Thursday’s resolution encourages Biden to ask the US government to exhaust its tools to impose “significant costs” on Russia and “restore peace in Europe.”

The final text stated that the resolution should not be interpreted as an authorization to use military force against Russia or to introduce American armed forces into Ukraine. The senators said the administration can impose sanctions on its own, independent of congressional action.

“It’s not about if ‘but how’ we will respond to Putin,” Shaheen said in a statement. Earlier this week, Senate leaders, along with Democratic and Republican chairmen on foreign relations and other committees, issued a bipartisan statement ahead of the resolution.

Despite the senators’ widespread support for legislation that would sanction Russia for its behavior towards Ukraine, they debated the details and timing.

There have also been differences over the Nord Stream 2 energy pipeline between Russia and Germany, although these may have been resolved after Biden said last week that the energy line would not continue if Russia invaded. Ukraine.

Still, senators were looking forward to a unified show of support for Ukraine right now, and before the Senate was suspended. Several senators and House lawmakers were heading to an annual security conference in Munich.


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