Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., on Sunday called on President Joe Biden to “quit pussy-footing around” in the response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, criticizing financial sanctions as “riddled with loopholes.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Cotton also called on U.S. businesses on their own to cut ties with Russia.
“Vladimir Putin controls 100% of the banks in Russia. He can use the other 20% to finance his war machine,” Cotton argued. “It's time to remove all Russian institutions from the international payment system. It's time to impose sanctions on oil and gas exports. We need to rush those weapons that were announced for delivery yesterday to the front. Anti-tank, anti-aircraft missiles, sniper rifles, ammunition. It should have been done weeks ago.”
“It's time for the president to quit pussy-footing around,” Cotton declared. “The financial sanctions are riddled with loopholes.”
Cotton also urged American businesses to “do more.”
“We don't have nearly the same kind of financial ties to Russia as European businesses,” Cotton said. “I would encourage every American company to scrub all their operations to provide no support whatsoever to Vladimir Putin's regime as he's conducting this unprovoked war of aggression.:
According to Cotton, “there's more we can all do.”
“It starts this week in Washington where we can provide more immediate assistance in terms of weapons and financial support to the Ukrainian regime and imposing truly severe sanctions on Vladimir Putin, not the half measures that we continue to see,” he said.
Cotton declared he’s never considered Putin anything other than a “ruthless dictator.”
“He took the ambitions he's always had and went for the jugular,” Cotton said. “Thankfully brave Ukrainian people are fighting back and every day they hold out they continue to stiffen the spines of leaders in the West. We need to urge them on and continue providing them the weapons they need to fight back.”
“Thankfully the Ukrainian army has anti-tank missiles that [former] President [Barack] Obama would not supply,” he added. “That's why it's so urgent we continue to supply those weapons to Ukraine.”
Cotton repeatedly pushed back on questions about former President Donald Trump’s relations with Putin.
“If you want to talk to the former president, you can have him on your show,” he said. “My message to Vladimir Putin is clear. He needs to leave Ukraine unless he wants to face moms with Molotov cocktails.”
“I'm speaking on behalf of Arkansas,” he added.
“I’m not worried about this fall's elections, much less an election two years from now,” he said. “I'm focussed on the war of aggression that Vladimir Putin launched in Ukraine. There's not a moment to lose.”
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