April 07, 2022

Cortez Masto: Bipartisan Measures Will Help Hold Putin Accountable, Aid Ukraine

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) issued the following statement after voting to impose new economic costs on Russia in response to the illegal and devastating war in Ukraine. She supported bipartisan bills to suspend normal trade relations with both Russia and Belarus, which has given Russia key support in the war, and to prohibit oil and gas imports from Russia. Both bills will now go to the president’s desk to be signed into law. In addition, Senator Cortez Masto joined her colleagues in unanimously voting to cut bureaucratic red tape and enable military aid to reach Ukraine more efficiently.  

“No humanitarian aid or economic sanctions should be off the table as we work to hold President Putin accountable for the devastating war in Ukraine. I’m glad the Senate passed this bill to impose further costs on the Russian economy and support Ukraine, and I’ll keep working to stand up to Russian aggression.”

The Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act imposes economic penalties on both nations by doing the following:

  • Suspends Russia’s Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status, which denies Russia access to most favored nation (MFN) tariff status, and ensures Belarus also receives less favorable tariff treatment. 
  • Allows the president to further increase tariffs on goods imported from Russia or Belarus.  
  • Permanently authorizes the president to impose visa- and property-blocking sanctions based on violations of human rights and revises the president’s authority to impose these sanctions. 

The Suspending Energy Imports from Russia Act prohibits the importation of energy products from Russia and permanently authorizes the President to impose visa- and property-blocking sanctions based on violations of human rights. 

In addition, the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 would allow the president to enter into lend-lease agreements directly with Ukraine and provide military equipment necessary to protect vulnerable civilians in Ukraine by cutting red tape and speeding the delivery of Congressionally-approved aid.

Senator Cortez Masto has consistently advocated for the U.S. to stand up to Russian aggression and support Ukrainian sovereignty. In January, she voted in support of sanctions against Russia and its Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and she supported similar sanctions in the 2020 and 2021 National Defense Authorization Acts.