Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey was one of 300 bipartisan lawmakers on a video call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday.
“We should do everything we can to support the people of Ukraine,” Markey said afterward.
To do that, Markey says, the U.S. must stop importing oil and gas from Russia.
“Russia’s tanks and armored tanks and artillery are powered by oil and natural gas and so, too, is Vladimir’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” Markey said.
Markey reiterated his call for the world to stop funding Putin’s war with dirty oil and gas money and said that Zelenskyy was resolute in his message to members of Congress.
Zelenskyy once again asked for a no-fly zone, something the U.S. and its allies have said is not on the table. Zelenskyy did ask for more planes from European countries like Poland.
“He asked us to give him permission to get those planes so he could put Ukrainian pilots in the air,” Markey said. “I think that’s something that we have to take very, very seriously.”
Markey had introduced legislation earlier this week, the SPIGOT (Severing Putin's Immense Gains from Oil Transfers) Act, designed to stop the import of Russian oil into the U.S.
“American fossil fuel companies helped fuel Putin’s despicable war on Ukraine to the tune of billions, propping up the oil-garchs and cronies that keep him in power,” Markey said in a statement earlier in the week. “There is no separating Russian oil from the corruption and human rights abuses of the Putin regime. We cannot criticize Europe for its reliance on Russian energy, as we pour dirty oil money into Russia. We cannot stop Putin with Russia’s gas in our cars."
"Our global addiction to oil keeps us locked into dangerous cycles of conflict and corruption, but we can choose a cleaner path to peace," he added. "By eliminating our addiction to Russian oil, we can build a pathway to a more prosperous and peaceful future, free from reliance on dirty oil and natural gas.”
Markey said in a Twitter post on Saturday that 80% of Americans want the U.S. to stop buying Russian oil.
"We need to pass my SPIGOT Act and pursue the pathway to peace that is powered by domestic clean energy," Markey wrote.