May 27, 2021

UAB issues letter to the president outlining concern over NS2 sanctions policy


The following letter was issued by Ukrainian Americans for Biden on May 20. It was sent to U.S. President Joe Biden and signed by members of the organization’s steering committee. Copies of the letter were also sent to individuals listed at the conclusion of the letter.

Dear President Biden:
On March 22, Ukrainian Americans for Biden (UAB), a network of voters established in June 2020 under the Democratic National Committee’s National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council, wrote to you about the concern and opposition of our members to the completion of the Nord Stream 2 (NS2) project. The recent announcement of the administration’s decision to waive sanctions on the largest partner in the project, Nord Stream AG, and the company’s CEO significantly heightened our concern.

During the first 100 days of your administration, numerous positive steps to improve and stabilize relations with Ukraine have been undertaken and noted: your phone call with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy soon after your inauguration, recent emergency assistance to Ukraine with COVID-19 vaccination efforts, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Ukraine, increased military support for Ukraine, including through NATO-managed exercises, strong support for internal reforms in Ukraine that will serve to enhance Ukraine’s national security, your firm insistence that the build up of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border be halted and reversed, as well as your strong stance against other aggressive actions undertaken by Russia.

In the set of policy recommendations submitted to your transition team soon after the 2020 U.S. presidential election (attached), UAB emphasized that NS2 will not improve European energy security. The primary purpose of Russia’s push to complete NS2 is the Kremlin’s consistent policy to use all available methods to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty, diminish the authority of Ukraine, Poland and other Central and East European countries, and increase Russia’s leverage over Europe. We continue to urge strongly that the administration implement fully the NS2 sanctions mandated by Congress.

We applaud your administration’s efforts to return U.S. relations with NATO, the European Union and G-7 to more stable ground. For your meeting with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, we wish you good health and supreme patience and strong conviction in the knowledge that Ukraine is a vital ally of the United States in Eastern Europe.

Ukrainian Americans for Biden Steering Committee: Chrystia Balko Slywotzky, Orest Deychakiwsky, Marta Farion, Andrew Fedynsky, Irene Jarosewich, Khristina Lew, Ulana Mazurkevich, Adrian Slywotzky, Mark N.V. Temnycky, Halyna Traversa and Tania Vitvitsky

Cc: Secretary of State Antony Blinken; Jake Sullivan, national security advisor; Rep. Chris Smith, director, Ukraine (NSC); Sen. Robert Menendez, chair, Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Gregory Meeks, chair, House Foreign Affairs Commit­tee; Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Andy Harris and Marcy Kaptur, co-chairs, Congressional Ukrainian Caucus; Sens. Dick Durbin and Robert Portman, Senate Ukraine Caucus; and Ukraine’s Ambas­sador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova