Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate regarding today’s votes to suspend permanent normal trade relations and energy imports from Russia, both of which passed the Senate this morning. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
On the final day of the work period, the Senate is also going to pass a much-sought after piece of legislation: revoking Russia of permanent normal trade relation with the United States.
The legislation will go a long way to landing a painful, severe blow on Putin’s economy; it will hinder his ability to keep funding his war machine and adds Russia, as well as Belarus, to a list of nations including North Korea that are ineligible for free trade with the United States.
I want to thank my colleague from Idaho, Senator Crapo, for working so closely with me, on into the night last night, to make sure that this got done.
We will also vote separately on legislation regarding an oil ban, and I thank my colleagues who worked together to reach a compromise on this measure. We are moving forward today.
Putin must absolutely be held accountable for the detestable and despicable war crimes he is committing against Ukraine: the images we have seen coming out of that country, most recently out of the town of Bucha, are pure, pure evil.
Hundreds of civilians murdered in cold blood.
Dozens of bodies of men, women, children, the elderly, the defenseless; people with hands tied behind their backs and left dead in the streets. Some of the bodies showed signs of torture.
According to a new report by Der Spiegel, German Intelligence now believes that some of these murders were discussed by Russian troops over radio intercepts.
Why were they killed? Simply because they were Ukrainians. Many children, young people, women.
No nation whose military is committing war crimes deserves free trade status with the United States. Let me say that again. No nation whose military is committing war crimes deserves free trade status with the United States. No vile thug like Putin deserves to stand as an equal with the leaders of the free world. He is a menace and a pariah who has ensured that his place in history will be one of everlasting shame.
So today’s votes approving PNTR revocation are significant. It is very important that the Senate pass this bill. And like I said, I want to sincerely thank Senator Crapo, as well as Senators Manchin and Cardin and Wyden and Murkowski and Menendez and all others who worked in good faith with us together on these measures. We wouldn’t have reached this outcome without their diligence and good faith.