McConnell on Putin Invading Ukraine: “The World Is Watching” for America’s Response

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U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell

LEXINGTON, KY (February 22, 2022) – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement this morning regarding Putin's invasion of Ukraine:

"Through his rhetoric and actions, Vladimir Putin has turned his back on the Minsk process and diplomacy in favor of escalation and invasion of a sovereign country.

"Every indication suggests these actions will almost certainly be used as a prelude to even further aggression and an even larger invasion. If that occurs, many Ukrainians could die. The humanitarian consequences could be catastrophic. And the threat will not stop with Ukraine. All the free nations of the world will be affected if Putin's aggression is allowed to stand unchallenged.

"The world is watching. Our allies, our adversaries, and neutral countries will all judge the West by our response — and plan their futures accordingly.

"As he escalates his war against Ukraine, Putin must be made to pay a far heavier price than he paid for his previous invasions of Georgia and Ukraine. This should begin, but not end, with devastating sanctions against the Kremlin and its enablers. The President should waste no time in using his extensive existing authorities to impose these costs.

"Our NATO and EU allies must likewise take action to impose significant costs on Putin. Germany's suspension of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a welcome but overdue announcement and must be turned into permanent cancellation.

"We must also stand by the brave Ukrainians fighting to protect their sovereignty. The United States and all friends of Ukraine must ensure a pipeline of support, including arms, flows to Ukrainians resisting Russian aggression.

"We must also shore up NATO's defenses along its eastern flank and make clear that aggression against NATO countries will be met with an overwhelming collective response.

"Finally, the United States and our allies across the world must fully acknowledge the growing threats posed by decades of Chinese and Russian military modernization. We need to rebuild our atrophied ability to deter and defend against aggression by these adversaries. That means we must invest more robustly in our own military capabilities to keep pace. Our budgets have to reflect reality.

"America and its partners are strongest when we act together, but the collective response to these threats must be led by Washington, by President Biden and his Administration."

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