FERGUSON COLUMN: Biden’s response to Russia lackluster

Published 10:30 am Thursday, February 24, 2022

By Drew Ferguson
Represents Georgia’s Third Congressional District

Russia’s recently renewed invasion of Ukraine reflects the disturbing reality of Vladimir Putin’s blatant disregard for international law and disrespect for Ukraine’s sovereignty. Without question, Joe Biden’s lackluster response has come too little too late.

Biden’s refusal to stand up to Putin and implement sanctions prior to Russia’s invasion has weakened our position on the world stage and has jeopardized the confidence of our allies. For months, Russia has slowly but surely positioned military assets for an invasion while being met with nothing but a daily drip of idle tough talk from the administration. The writing was on the wall for an invasion, yet the Biden administration refused to read it.

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With the administration actively working to reenter the Iran nuclear agreement and China pondering its next steps with regard to Taiwan, you can be sure our adversaries are taking note of Biden’s feckless foreign policy.

Starting with severely limiting our supply of domestic energy, to waiving existing sanctions on the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, to the administration’s disastrous handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden’s foreign policy has only bolstered our adversaries, namely Russia, and made other foreign countries more reliant on the energy they export.

This didn’t need to happen.

With the stroke of a pen, Biden canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline that would have boosted U.S. gross domestic product by more than $3 billion, carried 830,000 barrels of oil daily from Canada to the United States, strengthened our nation’s energy independence, and directly and indirectly provided up to 26,000 jobs — 11,000 of which were instantly lost.

We need projects like this not only for our own security, but so that we are the go-to energy partner for European nations who have instead entered into agreements with Russia.

Now, it’s crucial that the U.S. stand firmly with our allies in opposition to Putin’s aggression while promoting American energy independence. I have long expressed deep concern with President Biden’s weak and misplaced position on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a Russian-backed initiative that will allow Putin to weaponize the European energy supply and exert undue influence in the region. Time and again, the White House has failed to take needed steps to permanently end this project, which imperils European energy security and has dangerous consequences which we are seeing playing out on the world stage.

As a member of Congress, I stand in complete solidarity with Ukraine and will continue to support legislative solutions that push the strongest sanctions Russia has ever met while reinforcing Ukraine’s defense capabilities.