March 02, 2022

Manchin Questions National Security Experts On Banning Russian Imports, Russian Nuclear Threats

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Cybersecurity Subcommittee, questioned Ms. Heather A. Conley, President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and Mr. Roger Zakheim, Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute. Senator Manchin questioned the witnesses on the path forward for domestic energy production, including banning Russian oil imports, security concerns related to the Russian nuclear arsenal and the economic and strategic relationship between Russia and China.

On domestic energy production and banning Russian oil imports:

“We've talked about energy and coming from a state that's rich in energy, we can help an awful lot if they ask us to. I've said today, I think that we should ban the amount of product we're buying from Russia to set a good example; we're buying about 600,000 barrels a day. We haven't ceased that. Do you think that would send a good signal, if we could just show that we had the resolve, that we were going to stop purchasing and asking the rest of the free world to stop purchasing Russian products. Because these products flow in all different directions to different places.”

On Russia’s nuclear arsenal:

“Do you think that Russia is really sincere about using the nuclear weapons they have right now in the war they declared? They don't need nuclear weapons to take over Ukraine, but basically to show the rest of the world that they really mean business. And when they go after somebody, they're going to face the wrath of the Russian nuclear arsenal…Would they intend to use it on the NATO allies that they've been trying to dissuade from bringing any other non-NATO allies into the agreement, say, Finland and Switzerland? What are your concerns?”

A video of Senator Manchin’s questioning of the witnesses can be found here.