Biden administration won’t change Russia policy, says Kamala Harris


Vice President Kamala Harris indicated on Wednesday that the Biden administration will stick to its current policy regime regarding Russian President Vladimir Putin following his invasion of Ukraine despite its lack of success in deterring him.

The VP made her comments in an interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie Wednesday morning following President Joe Biden’s first formal State of the Union Address after the host pressed Harris on whether the administration was considering a change in tactics since, despite the imposition of heavy sanctions by the U.S., NATO allies, and other Western nations, Russia’s full-scale assault on Ukraine was ongoing.

“So what else do we have to throw at this when Putin so far is undeterred?” Guthrie asked.

“Well, we are going to continue to do what we’ve done,” Harris replied.

“For example, in the sanctions, it’s been sanctions against their financial institutions, against their oligarchs, where we are targeting their mansions and their jets,” Harris continued.

“What we’re going to continue to do is stand firm with our allies in terms of reassessing what we are doing with sanctions,” she said.

The Daily Wire adds:

Guthrie continued to press Harris on the possibility that the United States might implement sanctions on Russia’s energy sector — or stop buying oil and gas from Russia altogether — in an effort to cut off any income from selling such products and further isolate the nation from the west.

Guthrie noted that the best way to hit Putin “where it hurts” was to target the oil and gas sector, adding, “Some senators agree, Republican and Democrat — Senator Joe Manchin mentioned for example that the U.S. is still currently buying approximately 600,000 barrels of crude and other petroleum products every single day. Is that on the table? Is that something that the administration would continue — would consider in terms of further sanctions, cutting off the oil and gas part of the economy for Russia?”

Harris’ answer seemed to be more of a non-answer:

“Well, as you know, on this issue, for example, we applaud Germany in terms of what it has done as it relates to Nord Stream 2,” Harris replied, going on to praise Germany for its refusal to certify the new pipeline while leaving out the part that the pipeline was only going to be completed in the first place because Biden allowed U.S. sanctions against it put in place by former President Donald Trump to expire shortly after he took office.

Biden also canceled the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada after Trump approved it following more than a decade’s worth of delay and billions spent by firms to begin it.

“As it relates to what we need to do domestically as well as what we need to do in terms of this issue generally, we have as the president said reevaluated what we’re doing in terms of the strategic oil reserve here in the United States to make sure that it will not have an impact or we can mitigate the impact on the American consumer,” Harris continued.

“But let’s take this one step at a time, understanding that right now on the issue of energy, our allies have stood firm and unified in a way that many of the pundits didn’t predict would happen, to ensure that we are unified in our approach to this issue,” she said.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), whose state is a leading producer of natural gas and other energy, said it is “ridiculous” for the U.S. to continue buying Russian oil while Putin’s forces are invading a neighboring country.

“It’s ridiculous, totally ridiculous that we’re buying over 600,000 barrels a day of crude from Russia,” he said Wednesday.

Other lawmakers agreed.

“If President Biden was serious about pushing back on Russian aggression, he would completely cut off the import of oil from Russia and unleash the American energy industry,” said Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.).


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