Wicker, Risch, Colleagues Announce Russia Sanctions Legislation

Miss. Senator Cosponsors Measure Arming Ukraine, Sanctioning Putin

February 16, 2022

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today joined U.S. Senator Jim Risch, R-Idaho, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and other Senate Republican colleagues in introducing the Never Yielding Europe’s Territory (NYET) Act to provide the critical support Ukraine needs to defend itself and deter Russian aggression today, while imposing real costs on the Kremlin for its ongoing and potential future aggression against Ukraine.

“Vladimir Putin is doing everything in his power to rebuild the Soviet Evil Empire, and he will not stop until he meets a brick wall of resistance,” Wicker said. “This urgently-needed legislation would help bolster Ukraine’s defenses while proactively challenging Russia, both internally and across the continent. I am glad to join my colleagues on a bill that would send a clear and unmistakable signal to Putin that America continues to stand for freedom in Europe.”

“While a ‘military’ invasion has not yet occurred, there are other ways Russia can attack Ukraine that would be debilitating for Ukrainians and European security more generally,” said Risch. “Rather than simply restating authorities the president already has, the NYET Act takes immediate action to permanently stop Nord Stream 2, sends a powerful deterrent message, imposes heavy economic and military costs on Russia, strengthens U.S. allies and partners, and supports Ukraine via new authorities, funds, and tools. I hope the rest of our Senate colleagues will join us in providing this critical support to Ukraine immediately.”

Among other provisions, The NYET Act would:

Impose real costs on Russia:

  • Immediately stop construction of the Nord Stream 2 project and would mandate sanctions on the project without a waiver should Russia invade. Prior to an invasion, the bill would suspend sanctions for as long as the German government continues to suspend the certification process. 
  • Send a clear deterrent message to Putin that an invasion of Ukraine will result in massive economic consequences to Russia’s economy, including: 
    • Sanctions on major Russian banks; and
    • Secondary sanctions on banks that continue business with sanctioned Russian banks.
  • Sanction Putin’s cronies, enablers, and major banks before Russia further invades Ukraine to ensure Putin pays a price now for hybrid attacks already launched.
  • Allow any chairman or ranking member of a national security committee to force a determination from the president on whether Russia’s aggression against Ukraine constitutes a major escalation and fulfills conditions to trigger sanctions.

Support Ukraine before, during, and after a Russian escalation:

  • Provide $500 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Ukraine, including $250 million in emergency funding, with $100 million for emergency lethal assistance for critical capabilities like air defense, anti-armor, and anti-ship capabilities.
  • Create a new Ukraine Resistance Fund to help Ukraine resist attempts to occupy or subjugate any new territory Russia seizes, while sending a clear message to Putin that his military will pay a price for advances into sovereign Ukrainian territory.
  • Authorize a new Lend-Lease authority for Ukraine.
  • Expedite congressional review of arms sales and security assistance to Ukraine.

Counter Russian malign influence and aggression throughout Europe:

  • Double funding for U.S. military exercises in Europe.
  • Create a new State Department FMF program for Eastern Europe to help European allies strengthen their own defensive capabilities and incentivize greater burden-sharing.
  • Boost funding for State Department efforts to counter Russian disinformation, including the Global Engagement Center, and expands broadcasting by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Joining Risch and Wicker as cosponsors are Senators Pat Toomey, R-Penn., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., James Lankford, R-Okla., Susan Collins, R-Maine, Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., John Thune, R-S.D., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Mike Rounds, R-S.D. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Todd Young, R-Ind., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Bill Cassidy, R-La., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., John Kennedy, R-La., John Boozman, R-Ark., Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Roy Blunt R-Mo., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Richard Burr, R-N.C., Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Deb Fischer, R-Neb.

Text of the NYET Act can be found here.