WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the Biden administration announced it would take a series of measures to hold Russia accountable for the SolarWinds cyberattack, payment of bounties to militants for killing U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, and the 2020 election interference:
“The Biden administration’s tough approach towards the Kremlin is a welcome departure from four years of Donald Trump’s pandering to Putin. It is reassuring and frankly a relief to have president willing to clearly call Putin what he is - a killer, a military aggressor in Ukraine, a source of malign influence, a cyber threat.
“As I told the Administration, this package of measures is a strong first step in reestablishing American leadership and working with partners against these threats posed by the Kremlin. It should be crystal clear to the Kremlin that any future interference in western democracies or military aggression against its neighbors will not be tolerated. I welcome today’s measures, but there remains plenty of room to escalate sanctions against key Russian financial and energy actors. As the security situation in Eastern Ukraine grows increasingly tenuous and the Kremlin continues to try and kill imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, I urge the administration to consider additional measures, to include blocking sanctions on Russian banks. I also look forward to working with the Administration in its efforts to stop the Nordstream 2 pipeline.”