Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed President Joe Biden during a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday over the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have been amassing near its border in what experts warn might be a prelude to an invasion.
“Right now, as we speak, hundreds of thousands of Russian troops are amassed on the border of Ukraine, waiting to invade,” Cruz said. “This calamitous foreign policy disaster is Joe Biden’s fault. This is the direct consequence of Joe Biden’s surrender to Vladimir Putin on Nord Stream 2. What is Nord Stream 2? It is a pipeline being constructed from Russia to Germany to carry natural gas. Putin is building Nord Stream 2. Why? To go around Ukraine, because right now, Russian gas goes through Ukraine. Putin didn’t just wake up recently and decide to invade Ukraine. He’s wanted to invade Ukraine for years, he did so in 2014, but he stopped short of full invasion. Why? Because the Ukrainian energy infrastructure was necessary to get the Russian gas to market. Nord Stream 2 is all about building an alternative avenue to get the Russian gas to Europe so then the Russian tanks can ride into Ukraine.”
Cruz said that U.S. allies in Europe had warned that by lifting the sanctions on the pipeline, the Biden administration was “increasing dramatically the chances that Russia would invade Ukraine.”
“This invasion that we are facing, the very real prospect of, is Joe Biden’s fault. But you know what? It is also the fault of Senate Democrats,” Cruz continued. “For two years, we had bipartisan agreement to stop Nord Stream 2 and we succeeded. And when there was a Republican president in office, Donald Trump, I and other Republicans were perfectly willing to hold President Trump to account to press him to stand up against Nord Stream 2. And he did. As soon as a Democrat got in the White House, our Democratic colleagues decided that partisan loyalty was more important than national security.”
Cruz ripped Biden’s phone call with Putin on Tuesday, saying that while it’s “real nice,” it’s not going to stop an invasion and that the only way to stop it is to follow the law and sanction the pipeline.
“And this body could make a major step today to prevent war in Europe, to prevent Russia from invading Ukraine right now, by doing what Democrats and Republicans had agreed to do—had done together—until Biden’s surrender to Russia,” he continued. “We can do that by passing legislation that I have pending at the desk that would sanction Nord Stream 2, that would stop the project, which would mean Russia would remain dependent on Ukrainian energy infrastructure. And for the same reason Russia didn’t continue to invade in 2014, it would stop the invasion. We can do that right now.”
“I would note that what we just heard was Democrats in this chamber objecting to sanctioning Nord Stream 2,” Cruz later added. “It’s worth understanding what that means. It means that Senate Democrats prioritize political loyalty to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris more than they do standing up to Vladimir Putin. A month or two from now, if, God forbid, we see Russian tanks moving into Ukraine, remember this moment where Senate Democrats objected, said, ‘No, we won’t sanction the pipeline. We won’t save Ukraine. We won’t stand up to Russia.’”
“The Russian troops on the Ukrainian border are Joe Biden’s fault, and they are Senate Democrats’ fault for being unwilling to stand up to a president of their own party,” he continued. “And I would note, this particular nominee is a nominee to be the head of protocol at the State Department.”
He continued, “It is really bad protocol to drive tanks into somebody else’s country. You want to talk about protocol? How about the protocol of let’s defend American national security interest? Let’s defend Europe. Let’s defend our allies. Let’s stand up to a tyrannical bully named Vladimir Putin. Sadly, Democrats don’t want to do that. Accordingly, I object.”