New Jersey politicians call for action against Russia, warn of cyber risks to the state

(The Center Square) – New Jersey politicians continue to call for action following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and as well warn of potential Russian cyber threats to the state.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-New Jersey, said the nation must focus on energy production and stop the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

“We must get American energy back to full production and lead the world in energy independence,” Van Drew said in a statement. “We must permanently end Nord Stream 2 to remove Russia’s stranglehold on European energy demands, and we must impose crippling sanctions on Russian industries that fuel military production. We are on the precipice of the largest war in Europe since World War II, and the time to act is now.”

On Thursday, state Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, said he plans to introduce legislation to bar public investments and financial agreements with Russia or businesses with Russian interests.

On Friday, Assemblyman Christian Barranco, a member of the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities, Transportation and Science, Innovation and Technology committees, warned of a potential cybersecurity threat to New Jersey.

“Our state and region are at a high risk with an newly-aggressive Russia led by Dictator [Vladimir] Putin,” Barranco, R-Morris, said in a statement. “I’m calling for needed safeguards and hardening of our utilities, personal and private data centers, as well as our financial data operations. We are, of course, the home of Jersey City which is now known as ‘West Wall Street.’

“This is everyone’s problem,” Barranco added. “While bad Russian actors may not hack into a personal computer, it’s difficult to use a computer if the power grid has been shut down and the internet is out. Be vigilant.”

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Jay Webber, R-Morris, plans to introduce a resolution Monday declaring support for Ukraine and its people. It would recognize Ukraine as a sovereign state and urge Russia to stop its military actions.

“New Jersey must stand in solidarity with the citizens of Ukraine who have shown strength and resolve in their pursuit of sovereignty. Their courage should be commended as they stand in the face of Russia’s relentless and deadly attacks,” Webber said in a statement.

“A secure, safe and independent Ukraine is the only acceptable outcome for the innocent citizens who are enduring immense suffering under Russian aggression,” Webber added.

At the federal level, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, said the invasion “must mark a historical shift in how the world views and deals with the despot in Moscow.”

In a statement, Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he is “committed to ensuring that the United States upholds our responsibility to exact maximum costs on Putin, the Russian economy, and those who enabled and facilitated this trampling of Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

This article was published by The Center Square and is republished here with permission. Click here to view the original.