Ukraine invasion will be felt by Iowans, Grassley says

Higher gas prices are one thing Iowans are likely to see because of sanctions imposed on Russia.


Caleb McCullough

Sen. Chuck Grassley speaks to reporters at a town hall meeting in Albia, Iowa on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Caleb McCullough, Executive Editor

Iowans are likely to feel the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the gas pump and in other ways, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said at town meetings on Thursday. 

“It’s already had an effect, with the price of gas going up, directly related to the fact that Russia is one of the biggest producers of oil,” he told students during a visit to Ottumwa High School. 

American people or companies doing business in Russia will feel the effects of the sanctions President Joe Biden placed on Russian companies and banks as well, Grassley said. 

Grassley said at a town hall in Albia Thursday that he commended Biden for introducing sanctions on Russia after it launched a full-scale invasion on Ukraine, but he said Biden should have announced the specifics of the sanctions earlier. 

“I hope they would change Putin’s behavior,” Grassley said. “The other thing is if I would have criticism for the president, it would be before what happened … Why couldn’t he announce these sanctions without actually putting them on a month ago?”

Biden announced a new slate of economic sanctions on Russia on Thursday, hoping to cut off the country’s access to high-tech materials and financially burden Russian elites. Biden said it would likely take some time for Putin and Russia to see the effects of the sanctions. 

But Americans will likely feel the effects as well, Grassley said. The price of crude oil jumped above $100 a barrel briefly on Thursday and it remains above $90. 

While Grassley credited the invasion of Ukraine for rising gas prices, he also leveled accusations at Biden, saying his energy policies, such as canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, have also driven the price of energy up.

“The idiotic programs of this administration to cut down on the production of energy within America also made worse by what’s going on in Ukraine,” he said. 

Grassley said he didn’t expect a full invasion of Ukraine would happen until very recently. With the threat posed by NATO in other Eastern European countries, Grassley said he doubts the conflict will spread outside Ukraine and Russia.

“I don’t think that [Putin] wants to mess with the United States and with NATO,” Grassley said.