Utahns in Congress call for severe sanctions — not military action — as Russia invades Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen sit atop armored personnel
carriers driving on a highway within the Donetsk area, jap Ukraine,
Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin on
Thursday introduced a army operation in Ukraine and warned different
international locations that any try to intrude with the Russian motion
would result in “penalties you may have by no means seen.” (Vadim Ghirda, Related Press)

Estimated learn time: 6-7 minutes

WASHINGTON — As Russian forces bombard and advance on Ukraine, Utah members of Congress known as for President Joe Biden to impose the strongest attainable sanctions on Russia and its chief, Vladimir Putin.

However none are suggesting the U.S. ship troops into the warfare.

On the similar time, at the very least one U.S. Senate candidate in Utah is attacking his incumbent opponent over his previous opposition to sanctions in opposition to Putin and Russia.

“The world is now witnessing the true evil that’s Vladimir Putin,” Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, tweeted Thursday morning.

“And as we witness this evil, the U.S. and our allies should stand resolute with the Ukrainian folks and resolve to supply them with assist to defend in opposition to this unprovoked, unforgivable assault.”

Biden on Thursday introduced extra extreme sanctions in opposition to Putin and Russia.

Stewart mentioned any new sanctions together with export controls ought to be sturdy sufficient to cripple Russia’s capacity to make warfare. The U.S. and its allies must also be sending arms and communication gear to assist a Ukrainian insurgency, he mentioned.

Putin, who Stewart known as a “KGB thug,” is afraid of a bloody, extended warfare with resistance fighters “that kill Russian troopers day after day and week after week,” the congressman mentioned.

“The one factor that might have dissuaded him is that if our president and our NATO allies had mentioned we’ll arm and equip and assist Ukrainian freedom fighters, we’ll assist a Ukrainian resistance. Nicely, we’re past that now,” Stewart informed KSL NewsRadio’s “Dave and Dujanovic.”

China, Iran and North Korea are watching with equally malevolent intentions, he mentioned, including these international locations should see the U.S. reply firmly to Russia’s “reprehensible aggression.”

“The error the West has made for greater than a decade is to suppose an autocratic bully generally is a affordable geopolitical associate,” Stewart mentioned. “Putin does not wish to be half of the present worldwide order. He desires to blow it up.”

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, is touring in Europe with the Conservative Local weather Caucus this week and was in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday.


The horror of warfare has once more proven its face in Europe. Putin’s merciless assault on the folks of Ukraine is a gross breach of sovereignty. I condemn this violence and evil, and pray for the folks of Ukraine.

–Utah Sen. Mike Lee


“The temper is somber, and nearly surreal, like this cannot be occurring,” he mentioned. “However it’s occurring and people in Europe know that this has heavy penalties for them, and actually for the remainder of the world.”

Curtis mentioned the U.S. and its allies should “maintain nothing again” as they escalate monetary strain and sanctions on Russia.

“All freedom-loving nations ought to assist Ukraine of their effort to fight this violation of worldwide regulation, together with sharing gear to assist their self-defense. We should act swiftly and firmly to clarify that acts like this is not going to be tolerated,” he mentioned.

Curtis mentioned that motion doesn’t embrace sending American troops to Ukraine.

“The sentiment right here is that if one U.S. soldier went into fight we might enter a 3rd world warfare, so no person is suggesting that. I do not suppose that any of us need that,” Curtis informed KSL NewsRadio’s “Dave and Dujanovic.”

Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, who’s in Israel, known as the Russian assault on Ukraine abhorrent and unjustified.

Biden, he mentioned, ought to have applied harder sanctions on Russia and the Nord Stream 2 gasoline pipeline earlier than Putin’s forces began firing on Kyiv.

“I consider that Putin advances when he senses weak point,” Moore mentioned in a press release. “That’s the reason he acted to increase Russia’s borders through the Obama administration and is now making an attempt it once more much more forcefully.”

Police officers inspect area after an apparent Russian strike in Kyiv Ukraine, Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday announced a military operation in Ukraine and warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to "consequences you have never seen."
Law enforcement officials examine space after an obvious Russian strike in Kyiv Ukraine, Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday introduced a army operation in Ukraine and warned different international locations that any try to intrude with the Russian motion would result in “penalties you may have by no means seen.” (Picture: Emilio Morenatti, Related Press)

In a press release late Wednesday, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, attributed Putin’s assault on Ukraine to not struggling penalties for previous aggression in Crimea and Georgia.

“Putin’s impunity predictably follows our tepid response to his earlier horrors in Georgia and Crimea, our naive efforts at a one-sided ‘reset,’ and the shortsightedness of ‘America First.’ The ’80s known as’ and we did not reply,” Romney mentioned.

Unbiased Senate candidate Evan McMullin known as on Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, to sentence the assault, saying it is time for him to “reverse course.”

Lee has enabled Putin’s aggression on the world stage as considered one of solely two members of the Senate to oppose sanctions on Putin and his regime up to now and traveled to Moscow to debate lifting the sanctions already in place, McMullin mentioned in a press release.

“Now that Putin has launched his invasion of Ukraine and sure slaughter of extra harmless Ukrainians, Mike Lee should lastly condemn Putin’s aggression and stop his appeasement of this overseas tyrant,” he mentioned.

McMullin mentioned the U.S. and its allies should place “crushing” sanctions on Putin and his regime, provide Ukraine with gear, coaching and intelligence essential to inflict heavy losses on invading Russian forces, bolster their presence in Jap Europe and isolate Russia globally.

On Thursday, Lee tweeted, “The horror of warfare has once more proven its face in Europe. Putin’s merciless assault on the folks of Ukraine is a gross breach of sovereignty. I condemn this violence and evil, and pray for the folks of Ukraine.”

Lee additionally mentioned the Biden administration has left U.S. power safety susceptible.

“Putin’s army ambition is additional emboldened by Russia’s stronghold on the European oil and gasoline market,” he mentioned.

“But, President Biden has crippled U.S. power safety during the last yr, and now insists People abdomen increased costs on the pump as warfare wages in Europe. President Biden’s insurance policies depart the USA and our allies poorer and susceptible.”


All freedom-loving nations ought to assist Ukraine of their effort to fight this violation of worldwide regulation, together with sharing gear to assist their self-defense. We should act swiftly and firmly to clarify that acts like this is not going to be tolerated

–Utah Rep. Chris Stewart


In 2017, Lee voted in opposition to a bipartisan measure to impose sanctions on Russia for cyberattacks and meddling within the 2016 presidential election. Lee mentioned on the time {that a} Russian sanctions modification to the invoice included applications and insurance policies that aren’t efficient at addressing issues within the U.S.-Russia relationship and have promoted progressive insurance policies unrelated to countering Russia on the expense of American taxpayers.

Throughout a visit to Moscow in 2019, Lee mentioned loosening sanctions in opposition to Russia with Russian Federation Council International Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev, the Russian-run information outlet Tass reported in 2019.

“He did not waste a lot in attending to a few of the grievances that he is acquired. He complained nearly proper off the bat about Russian sanctions,” Lee informed the Deseret Information after coming back from Moscow.

Kosachev emphasised through the prolonged assembly that whereas U.S. sanctions may harm the Russian economic system, they are not going to alter Russia’s political calculus, Lee mentioned.

Lee mentioned he identified that election meddling does not assist the connection, particularly on the dimensions Russia tried in 2016. Kosachev, he mentioned, grew to become defensive and mentioned, “Oh, nicely, meddling occurs. He tried to say you guys do it, too.”

“I pushed again onerous on that,” the senator mentioned.

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