May 01, 2022

**ICYMI** SFRC Chairman Menendez Discusses Ukraine, Iran, Title 42 on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and Fox News Channel’s “Fox News Sunday”

JERSEY CITY, N.J. –  U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined NBC’s “Meet the Press” and “Fox News Sunday” newsmaker shows live to discuss the latest on Russia’s war in Ukraine, the United States’ negotiations with Iran, and Title 42.

On U.S. involvement should Putin’s war spill into Moldova:

“I think that the Ukrainians care what will happen in Transnistria because it is another attack point against Ukraine. I don't think that will change our calculus about our direct engagement. We need to keep our eye on the ball,” Chairman Menendez said. “That is about helping Ukraine and Ukrainians ultimately be able to defeat the butcher of Moscow. If we do that the world will be safer, the international order will be preserved, and others who are looking at what is happening in Ukraine will have to think twice. This international response that President Biden has led, and the new effort by Europe to have an oil embargo against Russia, will be one of the most strategic blunders Putin will have made for his country and shows the resolve of the West, something we have not seen in the past.”

On whether sanctions against Russia are working:

“Economists predict that the Russian GDP will contract by 15 percent. That wipes out 15 years of gain for Russia. … that’s a huge blow,” Chairman Menendez said. “As someone who has been the author of many sanctions, they have a tail to it – it takes some time to have an effect. But it is having an effect. What is having an even bigger effect is the West’s commitment to Ukraine. This is a test for the West – whether or not we will allow a country – in this case Russia led by Putin – to ultimately violate the international order and erase the boundaries of a country by force.”

On the prospects of  Congress approving the Biden administration’s new $33 billion supplemental request for Ukraine aide:

 “Time is of the essence. The howitzers, for example, that we are providing for the Ukrainians, many of which are on the ground already with long-range missile capacity, are going to help [Ukraine] in what is now a new phase of the war. … All that we can do to help the Ukrainians fight for themselves and achieve their freedom is critical,” Chairman Menendez said. “What we don’t want is ultimately for Putin to think that not only can he win in Ukraine but advance beyond it. That creates a risk for us and our NATO allies.”

“I think we will do what it takes to see Ukraine win because it is not just about Ukraine. It is about the international order. If Ukraine does not win, and if Putin can ultimately succeed in the Donbas but then be emboldened to go farther, if he strikes a country under NATO, under our treaty obligations with NATO, then we would be directly engaged,” Chairman Menendez added. “Stopping Russia from getting to that point is of critical interest to us…As well as to the world so we don't have to send our sons and daughters into battle. That ability not to have to send our sons and daughters into battle is priceless.”

On negotiations to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions:

 “We are all in agreement: Iran cannot be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon. It will change the entire nature of the region. We will have a nuclear arms race in the region and our allies in the state of Israel will have an existential threat. We cannot tolerate that,” Chairman Menendez said. “Returning to the agreement – especially when there is not a one year breakout but only a six month breakout – doesn’t really give us what we need. We have to stop Iran’s proliferation and missiles and also their pathway to a nuclear weapon. …I want the Administration to understand that no deal is better than a bad deal.”

On Title 42:

 “Title 42 is not the solution – it is part of the problem. Who wants to control the border, why would we permit a provision that allows countless numbers of times that an individual can try to cross the border? That is what Title 42 does. There is no permanent adjudication of those who have a right under asylum and those who do not have a right, and have an order of deportation, and if they try to come back there would be criminal penalties for it. That would stop it. There needs to be a comprehensive plan. Our Republican colleagues, however, want the issue, not the solution.”

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