Congressman Says Sanctions Against Russia Having An Impact
Houston County News (MN)
U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, said Tuesday "there is absolutely no daylight" between the United States and its European allies in their response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Kind returned to Washington after spending last week in London as chair of the British American Parliamentary Group. He spoke with British leaders on how to coordinate sanctions against Russia, whose military crossed into UkraineFeb. 24.
He said "the world is united" against Russian president Vladimir Putin.
"I was extremely pleased to see the amount of unity that we have from our NATO, our UK and our European allies," Kind said. "America's vital national security interests are implicated by what is happening in Ukraine and the surrounding area."
Kind was also encouraged by Ukrainian resistance that has been more effective than most analysts anticipated. He said Putin miscalculated the response by Ukraine and other countries.
"I think (Putin) was expecting a divided Ukraine, a divided Europe, a divided NATO and a divided United States," Kind said. "Instead, he's getting just the opposite — an unprecedented show of unity to stand up to the worst military aggression the world has seen since the Second World War."
Kind said economic sanctions are already starting to impact the Russian economy. He said Russian currency has suffered a "drastic decline" and that the Russian stock market has crashed by 40 percent.
Kind said more sanctions are on the table. He said the House Ways and Means Committee is putting together a resolution to remove Russia's most-favored nation trade status and revoke Russia's membership in the World Trade Organization.
"These are organizations that were set up after the Second World War to maintain global peace," Kind said. "We feel that Russia's membership in these institutions should be revoked until (Putin) stands down. We're thinking creatively on how we can bring this fight to his doorstep internally."
Kind said President Joe Biden has been instrumental in uniting America's allies to take action.
"I give a lot of the credit to President Biden," Kind said. "He knows these world leaders by name. He has a relationship with them. President Biden has taken a very strong leadership role in establishing this global sanctions regime. He has united the free world."
Kind acknowledged that the war will cause energy prices to spike. Russia is the world's second-leading crude oil producer, and he said gas prices will rise at home even though the United States imports only a very small amount of Russian oil.
He said the crisis should motivate countries to develop renewable sources of energy that are less impacted by global events.
"It speaks to the necessity of pivoting from fossil fuels," Kind said.