Around 40 members of the U.S. Senate are introducing a resolution on Wednesday urging President Trump to “push back against Russian aggression in the Black Sea” and arguing that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline deal should be cancelled, The Hill reports.
The resolution, spearheaded by Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), urges Trump to lead “a robust multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea,” and bolster Ukraine’s military including providing additional security assistance.
Russia captured three Ukrainian vessels and 24 crewmembers off the coast of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014 to international condemnation. Moscow has countered that the boats were operating unlawfully in its territorial waters. The Senate passed a separate resolution condemning the action last month.
Earlier this month, the House passed a resolution urging cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would deliver gas from Russia to parts of northern Germany.
The Senate resolution, a copy of which was obtained by The Hill ahead of its release, notes that the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning the pipeline and that senators are “calling for the pipeline’s cancellation due to its threat to European energy security, and calling on the Russian Federation to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait.”
The controversial pipeline has come under criticism from the Trump administration and some other European nations, because they fear it would give Russia leverage over Western Europe via energy supply. In July, Trump argued that Germany was “captive” to Russia because of the pipeline.
The new resolution also reiterates that Trump is required to impose Russian sanctions under a bill passed by Congress last year and that those sanctions are “a direct result of the actions of the Government of the Russian Federation and will continue and increase until there is an appropriate change in Russian behavior.”