InsiderAdvantage: Georgia Congressman Scott Reacts to Being Sanctioned by Putin, Russia

Cindy Morley

Thursday, April 21st, 2022

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Late last week, Russia officially sanctioned 398 members of the US Congress to “mirror” the U.S. government sanctioning more than 300 Russian lawmakers. Georgia Congressman Austin Scott (R-GA-08) \was targeted on that list, and he spoke out on this action.

“Putin is an unhinged kleptocrat, and I am proud to be sanctioned by his corrupt regime,” Scott said. “I refer the Kremlin to the words of the brave Ukrainian soldiers from Snake Island.”

A statement from Russia said that the new measures bar blacklisted members of Congress from entering Russia.

In a recent op-ed, Scott called Russian President Vladimir Putin out for using food as a weapon of war and starting a global food crisis. Scott voted in support of banning the import of Russian oil and also supported the Suspending Normal Trade Relations with Russia and Belarus Act, which suspended normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine isn’t just robbing Ukraine of its freedom — it is stealing from the breadbasket of the world. If history is any guide, the actions of this unhinged man may cause one of the most disastrous global food supply shortages since World War II,” Scott wrote in the op-ed.

He went on to say: “Ukraine exports over 50 million metric tons of corn and wheat to the world, and Ukrainian farmers would normally be planting crops right now. With Putin’s invasion, that is unlikely to happen. Russia and Ukraine were expected to provide around 30 percent of global wheat exports and 20 percent of corn exports prior to Putin’s invasion. For context, the United States accounts for approximately 11 percent of global wheat exports.”

Scott explains that Russia and Belarus account for 40 percent of global potash exports, which is key for fertilizer. This significant decrease in fertilizer supply hinders global agricultural production and heightens the likelihood of food insecurity for at-risk nations.

“I have been working in my unique capacity as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Agriculture Committee to monitor and prepare for the global food shortage caused by Putin’s obsession with restoring the former Soviet Union,” Scott said. “With over one-fourth of Ukraine’s grain exports going into the Indo-Pacific region, I asked the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command to research what a 5-10 percent reduction in the food supply would look like in this region in a recent House Armed Services Committee hearing. I also warned U.S. Southern Command about the food shortages that countries in the Western Hemisphere could soon experience and asked that it also look at the impact of a decrease in the global food supply.”

Another Georgia lawmaker sanctioned by Russia is Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-04). She was among two Congress members who publicly criticized Ukraine in the face of the House’s overwhelming support for Kyiv. Greene had suggested that Ukraine bore responsibility for Russia’s invasion because it had agitated Moscow, calling it “poking the bear” on right-wing media show BKP Politics.

Moscow says it is reciprocating US sanctions made last month against its lower house of parliament. Interestingly, the “stop list” encompasses members across both sides of the aisle and even critics of Ukraine.