ICYMI: Shaheen Statement on Committee Passage of Ukraine Security Partnership Act

April 23, 2021

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) and Chair of the Europe and Regional Security Cooperation SFRC Subcommittee – applauded the Committee passage of the Ukraine Security Partnership Act earlier this week. Shaheen reintroduced the bipartisan legislation with SFRC Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID), as well as SFRC committee members Rob Portman (R-OH), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and John Barrasso (R-WY) last month.  The legislation would provide security assistance and strategic support to Ukraine. Shaheen is also a member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus.

“Ukraine’s territorial integrity has never been more at risk than it is today as Putin continues to amass troops along its border. I’m very pleased that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cleared this legislation across party lines to send an unequivocal message that the U.S. stands with Ukraine in support of its sovereignty and against an increasingly adversarial Russia,” said Shaheen. “I was particularly pleased by the amendment to further address entities involved in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which threatens Ukraine’s economic security and allows Russia to spread its influence throughout the region. The United States’ national security is affected by the strength and stability of our partners around the world, which is why our support for Ukraine to defend itself and implement democratic reform must endure.”

Key provisions of the Ukraine Security Partnership Act as amended:

  • Requires the president to report to Congress within 15 days whether Nord Stream 2 AG, the company building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and 19 other entities are eligible for sanctions under the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act;
  • Reaffirms the United States’ commitment to Ukraine’s democratic transition, to deterring Russian aggression toward Ukraine, and restates our refusal to recognize Crimea’s illegal annexation;
  • Authorizes $300 million in foreign military financing (lethal and non-lethal), of which $150 million will be subject to conditions;
  • Allows Ukraine to receive expedited excess defense article transfers;
  • Authorizes $4 million for international military education and training;
  • Requires a strategy on vulnerability to predatory investments in Ukraine’s defense industry;
  • Requires a report on the strategy for how the United States will support Ukraine diplomatically;
  • Encourages the creation of a Ukraine working group with European allies; and
  • Encourages the appointment of a special envoy for Ukraine on negotiations & regional issues.

Text of the Ukraine Security Partnership Act as introduced can be found here.

Senator Shaheen has been a tireless advocate for Ukraine sovereignty and its defense against Russia. Yesterday, Shaheen introduced the Ukraine Religious Freedom Support Act with Senator Wicker (R-MS), which would authorize and require the president of the United States to consider particularly severe violations of religious freedom in the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and the Donbas — not just violations inside Russia’s internationally-recognized borders — when determining whether to designate Russia as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC). Senator Shaheen, also a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, supported a provision in the fiscal year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that became law that extends the Ukraine Security Initiative through December 31, 2024, and authorizes the use of up to $250 million included in FY 2021 NDAA to provide security assistance to Ukraine.

Shaheen co-authored Nord Stream 2-related legislation designed to halt construction of the pipeline in order to preserve Europe’s energy independence and prevent Vladimir Putin from spreading the Kremlin’s malign influence throughout the region. This bipartisan bill mandated targeted sanctions on vessels involved in installing Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline. It was signed into law in 2019 as part of the fiscal year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Shaheen built on her work in the FY21 NDAA that became law by adding a provision that further clarifies those sanctions, which target companies working with the Russian vessels sent to complete the pipeline. The Senator’s previous bipartisan effort led to a freeze in the construction of the pipeline. Shaheen and Menendez called on the Biden administration last month to advance the United States’ interests in Europe through a full diplomatic push to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.