U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today released the following statement regarding Russia’s aggression in Ukraine:
“The United States, NATO, and Ukraine must not back down to Vladimir Putin’s demands to undermine regional security or yield to his visions of remaking a malign Soviet sphere of influence,” said Thune. “In recognizing the independence of, and overtly sending troops to, regions in eastern Ukraine, Putin has rejected diplomatic efforts, violated Ukraine’s sovereignty, and further stoked tensions toward the brink of devastating conflict.
“Throughout his revisionist justification for his latest aggressions, Putin made clear that Russia will always claim it is the victim, despite an obvious track record to the contrary. The United States and its partners must stand united against Russian hostilities, including by implementing biting sanctions that target the Russian energy sector that seeks to prey on Western energy security.
“In addition to demonstrating resolute leadership against Russia’s object defiance of the rule of law, the United States must also reinvigorate our domestic energy resources to insulate consumers and allies from collateral sanctions damage, as well as renew our defense commitments and ensure our armed forces are fully equipped to deter and defend against mounting threats.
“For weeks, President Biden has been talking the talk on a U.S. response to a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Now it’s time for him to start walking the walk. We had the opportunity to send Putin a clear message before this unnecessary invasion, including by preemptively cutting off the Putin Pipeline, but President Biden and his Democrat allies in Congress sat on their hands.
“The only thing Putin responds to is strength, so the United States must send a strong and unified message that this aggression will not be tolerated. In addition to making it clear that there are more sanctions on the table, including those in the NYET Act, we must provide the necessary support to our NATO allies and assist Ukraine with what it needs to fight this battle.”
Last week, Thune and a majority of his Senate Republican colleagues introduced the Never Yielding Europe’s Territory (NYET) Act to provide the critical support Ukraine needs to defend itself and deter Russian aggression while imposing real costs on the Kremlin for its ongoing and potential future aggression against Ukraine.