WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, last week introduced legislation to help bolster U.S. investment into Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and boost Eastern European energy security in the wake of Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The Responding to the Energy Security Crisis in Ukraine and Europe (RESCUE) Act will address Ukraine’s urgent fuel needs while helping it reconstruct and modernize its energy infrastructure. It will also provide investment and technical assistance across Eastern and Southeastern Europe to reduce regional reliance on Russian energy resources.
“Since before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, Russia has used energy as a weapon to pursue its geopolitical objectives. Even today, Russia prioritizes Ukraine's energy infrastructure as a target due to its critical importance,” said Ranking Member Risch. “Ukraine's energy industry and infrastructure will be a pillar of the reconstruction efforts after the war. It is crucial that we have a strategy that rebuilds, reforms, and integrates Ukraine's energy sector in support of a more secure and united Europe. The RESCUE Act will help us do just that and reduce Russia's ability to use energy as a weapon against our allies.”
“Russia’s wanton invasion has not only taken countless Ukrainian lives and attempted to destroy Ukraine’s economy, it has destroyed more than half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and exposed the challenges many of our Eastern European partners and allies face as we work together to weaken Russia’s ability to weaponize energy resources,” said Chairman Menendez. “I am proud of the United States’ response thus far, and we need to do more with our European partners as we support medium and long-term energy security for Ukraine and beyond. We need to help Ukraine with emergency fuel supplies, support their efforts to build back energy infrastructure in a way that is more modern and transparent, and foster U.S. investment into Eastern and Southeastern European countries to help reduce their dependency on Russian oil and gas.”
The RESCUE Act:
Text of the RESCUE Act can be found here.