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Idaho senator pushes Biden administration to use energy as a lever in Ukrainian war

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Sen. Jim Risch [R-Idaho] spoke Wednesday at a press conference called by Senate Republicans.

Jim Risch calls for U.S. to stop buying Russian oil and natural gas

Idaho U.S. Senator Jim Risch says he supports the economic sanctions imposed by the Biden administration to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. But he says more needs to be done.

Specifically, Risch said, the United States needs to use energy policy as a tool. He called on the federal government to stop buying Russian oil and increase its own domestic supply.

“With Nord Stream 2 shut down, we now must end Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas for good. The president should rescind his executive order from last year that shut down oil and gas production in the United States to a large degree and then we can help Europe," he said.

Risch says the U.S. also needs to rapidly increase the number of lethal weapons it supplies to Ukraine to help its army fight off the invasion by Russian forces.

“Because of what we’re seeing coming into the capital, we need a huge surge of these weapons. We need Javelin missiles," Risch said. "Everybody talks about a no-fly zone, the Ukrainians can make a no-fly zone by simply, us sending them enough Stinger missiles. They can make their own no-fly zone over Ukraine.”

Risch also urged the administration to deliver its weapons and goods directly to western Ukraine, instead of dropping them off in Poland and requiring the Ukrainians to come pick them up.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.