WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) joined Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) in introducing the Never Yielding Europe’s Territory (NYET) Act to provide the critical support Ukraine needs to defend itself and deter ongoing Russian aggression, while imposing real costs on the Kremlin for its ongoing and potential future aggression against Ukraine.

“Since the Biden administration’s deferential foreign policy continues to create instability in Eastern Europe, Congress must take action,” Senator Capito said. “This comprehensive legislation not only sends a clear message that the United States won’t tolerate Russian aggression, it implements serious economic sanctions aimed at deterring Moscow from continuing down its current path. Importantly, this bill would also provide democratic Ukraine with the defense support it needs at this critical time. I encourage all of my colleagues to support this legislation and help send it to the president as soon as possible.”

“While a ‘military’ invasion has not yet occurred, there are other ways Russia can attack Ukraine that would be debilitating for Ukrainians and European security more generally,” Ranking Member Risch said. “Rather than simply restating authorities the president already has, the NYET Act takes immediate action to permanently stop Nord Stream 2, sends a powerful deterrent message, imposes heavy economic and military costs on Russia, strengthens U.S. allies and partners, and supports Ukraine via new authorities, funds, and tools. I hope the rest of our Senate colleagues will join us in providing this critical support to Ukraine immediately.”

Joining Senator Capito as cosponsors of Ranking Member Risch’s bill are Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Kennedy (R-La.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).

The NYET Act:

Imposes real costs on Russia:

  • Immediately stops construction of the Nord Stream 2 project and would mandate sanctions on the project without a waiver should Russia invade. Prior to an invasion, the bill suspends sanctions for as long as the German government continues to suspend the certification process. 

  • Sends a clear deterrent message to Vladimir Putin that an invasion of Ukraine will result in massive economic consequences to Russia’s economy, including: 

  • Sanctions on major Russian banks; and

  • Secondary sanctions on banks that continue business with sanctioned Russian banks.

  • Sanctions Vladimir Putin’s cronies, enablers, and major banks before Russia further invades Ukraine to ensure he pays a price now for hybrid attacks already launched.

  • Allows any chairman or ranking member of a national security committee to force a determination from the president on whether Russia’s aggression against Ukraine constitutes a major escalation and fulfills conditions to trigger sanctions.

Supports Ukraine before, during, and after a Russian escalation:

  • Provides $500 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Ukraine, including $250 million in emergency funding, with $100 million for emergency lethal assistance for critical capabilities like air defense, anti-armor, and anti-ship capabilities.

  • Creates a new Ukraine Resistance Fund to help Ukraine resist attempts to occupy or subjugate any new territory Russia seizes, while sending a clear message to Vladimir Putin that his military will pay a price for advances into sovereign Ukrainian territory.

  • Authorizes a new Lend-Lease authority for Ukraine.

  • Expedites congressional review of arms sales and security assistance to Ukraine.

Counters Russian malign influence and aggression throughout Europe:

  • Doubles funding for U.S. military exercises in Europe.

  • Creates a new State Department FMF program for Eastern Europe to help European allies strengthen their own defensive capabilities and incentivize greater burden-sharing.

  • Boosts funding for State Department efforts to counter Russian disinformation, including the Global Engagement Center, and expands broadcasting by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Text of the NYET Act can be found here.

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