During a ceremony honoring steel workers and the history of Sparrows Point on Monday, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski made it clear she wasn’t fond of OAO Severstal CEO Alexey Mordashov–whose company once owned the site–or Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mikulski’s remarks came as she discussed the challenges that led to the steel mill, which at one time was of the largest employers in the Baltimore area, closing for good in 2012.
“In came the Russian oligarch, God, did I need a shooter of vodka after that meeting. Because again, he didn’t care about us, you don’t get to be…Putin’s teacher’s pet and be for American jobs,” Mikulski said.
Mikulski, the outgoing chairwoman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, was speaking at a longtime Democratic bastion in which Republicans made gains in the General Assembly delegation earlier this month. The veteran senator struck a populist tone during her remarks, calling for federal tax reform and chastising the World Trade Organization.
“We had a program under President Bush, and what happened? We were told that WTO, we violated WTO agreements. They were more willing to give a break to Brazil or China then to the United States of America. I think voters have said ‘enough is enough,'” she said.