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Tags: senators | lindsey graham | chris coons | bob menendez | sanctions

Sens. Graham, Menendez, Coons Call for Tough Sanctions

Lindsey Graham speaks at a press conference
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks at a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 16, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 February 2022 09:42 AM EST

Senators from both major parties are demanding severe sanctions against Russia for sending troops into Ukraine.

Russian troops called peacemakers were sent into the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk in the Donbass region, which Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday declared independent.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., quickly called for destroying the ruble and crushing the Russian oil and gas sector.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said additional Russian troops entering the Donbass region would call for "crushing sanctions."

"Putin's illegal recognition of the self-proclaimed Donetsk & Luhansk People's Republics signifies his complete & utter disregard for Ukrainian sovereignty. If any more Russian troops enter Donbass, there must be no hesitation to impose crushing sanctions," Menendez tweeted Monday night.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, released a Monday night statement saying "significant" sanctions were needed.

"The time for taking action to impose significant costs on President Putin and the Kremlin starts now," Coons said. "By recognizing two fake 'People's Republics' of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukrainian territory that his own military actions have carved out of eastern Ukraine since 2014, and then ordering in Russian troops as alleged 'peacekeepers,' Putin has rejected the Minsk agreement and clearly violated Ukrainian sovereignty and international law."

Coons' statement had added significance because the senator is a close ally of President Joe Biden, whose administration said Ukraine did not yet constitute a further invasion that would trigger a broader sanctions package.

"We will take further measures [Tuesday] to hold Russia accountable for this clear violation of international law and Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as of Russia's own international commitments," an administration official said Monday.

The official added that the U.S. will continue to pursue diplomacy with Russia until "tanks roll.”

Tim Kaine, D-Va., also a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted support for "crippling" sanctions as a response to an invasion of the Donbass region.

"As Russia takes steps to violate Ukraine's sovereignty, the US stands ready — united with our allies — to respond to any invasion of the Donbass with crippling sanctions on the Kremlin. We won't stand for Russian aggression," Kaine said.

Republicans on the Foreign Relations Committee also called for sanctions.

"The United States must impose devastating sanctions against Putin's interests, including immediate and mandatory sanctions permanently putting an end to his Nord Stream 2 pipeline," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted.

"Putin's decision to recognize the Ukrainian separatist republics is a violation of the Budapest Memorandum and a pretext for further military action against Ukraine. The administration must immediately enact all available sanctions on Russia," Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, tweeted.

House members also called for sanctions against Russia.

Rep. French Hill, R-Ark., said that mistakes by the Obama-Biden administration created the potential for war in Ukraine when Russia "took Crimea without a shot," but at this point, a strong set of sanctions would show the United States backs Ukrainian sovereignty.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., tweeted: "Russia has invaded Ukraine. The Biden Administration and our allies must impose full set of crippling sanctions now."

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Senators from both major parties are demanding severe sanctions against Russia for sending troops into Ukraine.
senators, lindsey graham, chris coons, bob menendez, sanctions
Tuesday, 22 February 2022 09:42 AM
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