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Dem Rep. Himes: Biden’s Sanctions Threat on Russia Isn’t Enough, Need to Arm Ukraine, Get Europe to Stop Buying Their Energy

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On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) stated that the threat of sanctions alone isn’t enough to deter Russian aggression towards Ukraine and urged President Joe Biden to make it clear to Russia that the U.S. will arm Ukraine with defensive weapons. Himes also said that Biden “needs to make sure that Vladimir Putin understands that the Europeans will stop buying energy, that the sanctions will be global, and that going into Ukraine could mean the end of his regime, it would be that costly.”

Himes said, “When Vladimir Putin moved into Crimea, he got slapped on the wrist, or at least he perceived that as a slap on the wrist. And now, if he sees an opening to move into Ukraine, where does it stop? And so, the stakes are enormously high. Vladimir Putin and Russia cannot invade Ukraine. The world cannot sustain a norm where, just because you, as Vladimir Putin, happen to think that the Ukrainians aren’t a real country, well, geez, that’s excuse to go in.”

He continued, “So, no, Wolf, I don’t think the threat of sanctions are enough. A wise Russia hand once said to me that when you’re thinking about sanctions on Russia, remember that these are the people who survived the siege of Stalingrad, right? One of the worst moments of World War II. So, I think two things are really critical: Number one, this cannot be sanctions only. I think the president needs to make it very clear to Vladimir Putin that we will arm the Ukrainians with defensive weaponry, that we will do everything we can to make sure that if he goes across the border, the cost in lives and money to the Russians will be huge. The other thing he needs to do is he needs to make sure that he’s speaking on behalf of the world, right? This is not a U.S.-Russia thing. The world can’t sustain a new, Putinesque norm that says that countries can invade each other. So, the president needs to make sure that Vladimir Putin understands that the Europeans will stop buying energy, that the sanctions will be global, and that going into Ukraine could mean the end of his regime, it would be that costly.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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