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Tags: troops

GOP Lawmakers: Biden's Newest Steps on Ukraine Crisis 'Definition of Impotence'

GOP Lawmakers: Biden's Newest Steps on Ukraine Crisis 'Definition of Impotence'
(AP)

Monday, 21 February 2022 08:17 PM EST

President Vladimir Putin's decision to send troops he called peacemakers into breakaway regions of Ukraine did not as yet constitute a further invasion that would trigger a broader sanctions package, a Biden administration official said on Monday, though he added that a full invasion could come at any time.

The United States will continue to pursue diplomacy with Russia until "tanks roll," another official said.

The Russian president's recognition of the two breakaway regions as independent and his order to send in troops upped the ante with the West over Ukraine.

But at least some lawmakers in the House voiced the view that Biden's response has failed to match the escalation.

Two House Republicans, Mike McCaul and Mike Rogers, issued a statement that represented a strong rebuke of the administration's reactionts to Moscow's growing aggression.

“With reports that Putin is now sending troops into the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk under the guise of ‘peacekeepers,’ now is not the time for symbolic pinpricks that will serve only to embolden Putin and endanger our friends in Ukraine," their statement read. "Now is the time for President Biden to impose sanctions that strike at the heart of the Russian economy, and permanently end Nord Stream 2 once and for all, as he promised the world he would do.”

The White House announced swiftly after Putin's announcement that it would prevent U.S. investment in those areas and one administration official told reporters that additional measures would be announced on Tuesday, but all of those were separate from a wider set of sanctions that Washington has promised to implement with its allies if Russia invades Ukraine.

The first administration official told Reuters sending Russian troops into the separatist regions was not a departure from what Russia had done already, which was why it did not trigger the broader sanctions.

"This isn't a further invasion since it's territory that they've already occupied," that official said.

The official speaking to reporters on a conference call said sending Russian troops into the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine was not new.

"Russian troops moving into Donbas would not itself be a new step. Russia has had forces in the Donbas region for the past eight years... They are currently now making decisions to do this in a more overt and ... open way," he said.

"Russia continues to escalate this crisis that it created in the first place. We'll continue to pursue diplomacy until the tanks roll, but we are under no illusions about what is likely to come next," he said.

Putin told Russia's defense ministry to deploy troops into the two regions to "keep the peace" in a decree issued shortly after he announced recognition for Russia-backed separatists there.

President Joe Biden condemned Putin's decision to recognize the regions.

The officials cast doubt on whether Biden, who agreed in principle to meet with Putin if Russia did not invade Ukraine, would carry through with that given Moscow's actions.

Biden sought in January to clarify what the United States would consider an invasion. "If any, any assembled Russian units move across the Ukrainian border, that is an invasion," he said. 

Newsmax's Jeffrey Rubin contributed to this report.

© 2022 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


GlobalTalk
President Vladimir Putin's decision to send troops he called peacemakers into breakaway regions of Ukraine did not as yet constitute a further invasion that would trigger a broader sanctions package, a Biden administration official said on Monday but added that a full...
troops
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2022-17-21
Monday, 21 February 2022 08:17 PM
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