Ahead of Putin meeting, lawmakers — including the Chair of the House Armed Services Committee — tell Biden that they support his efforts to, “create a stable and predictable U.S.-Russia relationship in support of strategic stability in Europe and the world.”
WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) led more than a dozen lawmakers today in supporting President Joe Biden’s upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as the United States works to restore diplomatic efforts on key areas of cooperation and conflict between the two countries. The members of Congress — which includes Chair of the House Armed Services Committee Adam Smith (WA-09) — identified specific areas of global importance including arms control to prevent a new nuclear arms race, addressing climate change, combating violent extremism, reducing cyber threats to national economies and infrastructure, and reducing global economic inequality.
The lawmakers also urged President Biden to reverse his proposed expansion of nuclear weapons funding while working with Russia to avert a nuclear buildup around the world. Additionally, they called for Wednesday’s summit in Geneva to result in U.S. support of a path to a peaceful resolution of conflicts that have come dangerously close to triggering a wider war in areas such as eastern Ukraine.
“We believe that armed conflict between Russia and the United States would be a catastrophe for both countries, for Europe, our allies, and for the world,” said the lawmakers. “We support your efforts to create a stable and predictable U.S.-Russia relationship in support of strategic stability in Europe and the world….We urge you to follow up on this diplomatic engagement with Russia by reviewing and reversing the current proposed expansion of nuclear weapons funding.”
The lawmakers’ call to prioritize arms control comes at a moment when the U.S. and Russia combine to hold more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads. President Biden has stated that, “the spread of nuclear weapons is the greatest threat facing the country and, I would argue, facing humanity.” He has also articulated a global vision that would “bring us closer to a world without nuclear weapons.”
The letter was signed by U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Donald S. Beyer Jr., André Carson, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Raúl M. Grijalva, Sheila Jackson Lee, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Mondaire Jones, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, James P. McGovern, Ilhan Omar, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Smith, and Juan Vargas.
The full text of the letter is available here.