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Chairman Menendez Statement on U.S. and European Sanctions against Russia

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement by President Obama and the European Union on applying a new round of targeted sectoral sanctions against Russia.

“President Putin responds only to strength and determined actions, and the sanctions announced today by the United States and European Union demonstrate a clear unity of purpose.  I am pleased that the announced sanctions will also include a ban on advanced energy technology equipment for Arctic drilling or for shale oil projects. We do not need to help create a Russian shale revolution. These actions are important in increasing pressure on Russia, but not necessarily the final action for the United States.  I am prepared to move forward with further sanctions in September if Russia does not immediately alter course.

“President Putin has fundamentally miscalculated, wrongly believing the United States and our European partners would fail to back our words up with punishing sanctions. The United States and our allies will not allow Russia to go unchecked as it tries to upend the international order by annexing Crimea and fomenting disorder and violence in Eastern Ukraine by supporting separatist militias who have killed hundreds of Ukrainians and committed the heinous crime of shooting down a civilian airline resulting in the senseless death of 298 innocent people.  President Putin must understand that the United States and Europe are unified in our opposition to Russian aggression and that reality will not change.”