The Speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament, Andriy Parubiy addressed Vice President Mike Pence and Congressional leaders this week. In his letter, he called on the United States and the U.S. Congress to impose substantial economic sanctions on the Russian Federation as a consequence to its unlawful and aggressive actions against Ukraine in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov on November 25.
In his communication, the Speaker emphasized, among other things, that the Russian Federation could use the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea as a false pretext for military action. Russia cited hypothetical risks to the illegal Kerch Bridge as a justification for ramming, firing at and capturing three Ukrainian vessels. Two dozens of Ukrainian sailors have been taken hostage and are kept in custody in Moscow. Russia frequently uses “safety of the critical infrastructure” as a pretext to deny passage of the Kerch strait for Ukrainian ships, despite the existing agreements between the two countries.
Unlike the Nord Stream pipeline, Russia’s Gazrpom is the sole owner of the Nord Stream 2 and Turkstream pipeline projects. Gazprom will also own gas to be transmitted through these pipelines at least until it reaches Germany and Turkey, respectively. Citing the need to protect these critical infrastructure objects, Kremlin may further increase its military presence in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. This situation compromises security of international maritime and aerial navigation in these regions and promotes further hostile actions by Russia against European nations.
In this context, Speaker Parubiy urged Vice President Pence to implement section 232 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). The Act provides the US Administration the authority to sanction provision of investment, goods, services or technology to implement Russia’s energy export pipeline projects. The Ukrainian speaker also called upon the Congress to pass the Defending America Against Kremlin Aggression Act (DAASKA), which includes aims at energy and banking sectors.
The letter concludes by stressing the broader importance of strongly enforcing international rule of law to create consequences for those countries which violate the sovereignty of other nations and calls for immediate action to prevent the spreading of Russian military aggression in Europe.
NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine