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Senators introduce resolution opposing Russian pipeline

Senators are introducing a resolution on Wednesday urging President Trump to push back against Russian aggression in the Black Sea and arguing a Russian gas pipeline deal should be canceled. 

Roughly 40 senators are introducing the resolution, which was spearheaded by Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).  

{mosads}“The United States and our allies need to rapidly counter Russia’s military aggression in the Kerch Strait with strong and resolute action,” Johnson said in a statement.  

Durbin added that passage of the resolution would “reaffirm this message of deterring further aggression from the Russian Federation.” 

The House passed a resolution urging cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would deliver gas from Russia to parts of northern Germany, earlier this month. 

The Senate resolution, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill ahead of its release, notes that the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning the pipeline and that senators are “calling for the pipeline’s cancellation due to its threat to European energy security, and calling on the Russian Federation to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait.”

The pipeline has come under criticism from the Trump administration and some other European nations, because they fear it would give Russia leverage over Western Europe via energy supply. Trump, in July, argued that Germany was “captive” to Russia because of the pipeline. 

Senators are also urging Trump to work with Congress and U.S. allies “to ensure the appropriate policies to deter the Russian Federation from further aggression.” 

The resolution urges Trump to lead “a robust multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea,” and bolster Ukraine’s military including providing additional security assistance. 

Ukraine in November accused Russia of capturing three vessels and 24 crew members on board those vessels off the coast of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 to international condemnation. Moscow has countered that the boats were operating unlawfully in its territorial waters. The Senate passed a separate resolution condemning the action last month. 

The new resolution also reiterates that Trump is required to impose sanctions on Russia under a bill passed by Congress last year and that those sanctions are “a direct result of the actions of the Government of the Russian Federation and will continue and increase until there is an appropriate change in Russian behavior.” 

Tags Dick Durbin Donald Trump gas pipeline Ron Johnson Russia sanctions Senate Resolution

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