WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC to discuss the growing bipartisanship in Washington to stop Russia’s destabilizing aggression and his proposed legislation to impose crushing sanctions in the event Putin further invades Ukraine. Menendez also reacted to reports that North Korea on Monday fired two more suspected ballistic missiles into the sea.
“The effort here is to deter Russia from going in and re-invading Ukraine or otherwise disrupting Ukraine, as we saw in recent cyberattacks and false flag operations…. I call it the ‘mother of all sanctions’ bill, and it is goes far beyond the typical sanctions we [usually] leverage.” Chairman Menendez said, announcing his proposed legislation has already garnered the support from the White House as well as 40 U.S. Senators. “This week as we return to the Senate, I'll look forward to also working with several of my Republican colleagues … [who] all have different ideas and hopefully we can incorporate them in a way that creates a unified, powerful voice, so that not only has the Administration made it clear to Putin there will be incredibly severe consequences to the Russian economy [if Russia re-invades Ukraine], and therefore to the Russian people beyond Putin, but that the United States Congress is behind [these consequences] as well, and we are speaking with one voice.”
On North Korea’s most recent missile test:
“The Biden administration ultimately ended up in a far worse position after President Trump played with Kim Jong-un and gave him international acceptance. All Kim Jong-un did is dramatically advance [North Korea’s] weapons system,” Chairman Menendez said. “That's why I'm glad to see that Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States ambassador to the UN, has submitted to the UN Sanctions Committee a series of names and entities to get the UN involved. These tests are a violations of UN Security Council resolutions. Russia and China have to see North Korea's actions not only as a threat to the west, but as a threat to their own security. It is my hope that we can press at the UN for a coordinated effort that sends a real message to Kim Jong-un that these provocations are not the way to get what he may ultimately want.”