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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday warned that Russia could be triggering a “catastrophic” war in Ukraine and said the West must respond strongly or else risk further emboldening President Vladimir Putin.
“The world is watching. Our allies, our adversaries, and neutral countries will all judge the West by our response — and plan their futures accordingly,” McConnell, R-Ky., said. “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.”
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McConnell added: “This should begin, but not end, with devastating sanctions against the Kremlin and its enablers… 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.”
McConnell is one of many Senate Republicans who have been critical of President Biden for his reluctance to place sanctions on Russia ahead of what appeared to be a nearly certain invasion of Ukraine.
Biden said Tuesday he will impose further sanctions on Russia in the wake of the invasion. They will include financial sanctions against Russian banks and oligarchs. Biden also said he will move additional troops to the Baltic states.
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The Russian invasion of Ukraine will likely be very deadly and have massive geopolitical consequences, McConnell said Tuesday.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Many experts are saying the Russian actions against Ukraine represent Putin attempting to challenge the post-Cold War order and resurrect the old Soviet Union. Putin said the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.
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This invasion comes after two consecutive U.S. presidents were at times dismissive of the threat Russia posed to the West.
Former President Obama told his 2012 opponent Mitt Romney that the “1980’s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back” when Romney called Russia the United States’ biggest geopolitical foe.
And former President Trump in his 2018 Helsinki press conference with Putin refused to stand by U.S. intelligence community assessments that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the performance “disgraceful.”
Fox News’ Kelly Phares, Brooke Singman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mcconnell-russia-war-bloody-sanctions