September 03, 2014

Corker: U.S. Should Strongly Push Back Until Russia Ends its Aggression in Eastern Ukraine

Urges administration to impose additional sanctions on Russia and provide Ukraine with intelligence and appropriate lethal support

WASHINGTON – Following President Obama’s remarks in Estonia today regarding the situation in Ukraine and the need to strengthen the NATO alliance, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, (R-Tenn.) ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today said “the best show of our resolve” would be to “share intelligence inside Ukraine, provide appropriate lethal support” and “impose additional crippling sanctions” on Russia. Last week, NATO presented evidence of a dramatic escalation of Russian military involvement inside Eastern Ukraine, including the presence of well over 1,000 Russian troops and the transfer of heavy weapons to pro-Russian rebels.

“The plans announced for NATO's future are good to hear, but the best show of our resolve today would be to immediately and robustly share intelligence inside Ukraine, provide appropriate lethal support to the Ukrainian government, and impose additional crippling sanctions until Russia ends its aggression,” said Corker. “Despite its denials, Russia has, in fact, invaded Ukraine, and the United States and the EU must respond as they have said they would, rather than continue this alarming lack of resolve that has led to a near-dismantlement of Ukraine. With Putin changing boundaries at the barrel of a gun, his seven point peace plan should not deter us from strongly and appropriately pushing back.”

In April, Senator Corker introduced legislation as a strategic response to Russian aggression in Europe. The bill would strengthen the NATO alliance, impose a series of tough sanctions for specific Russian actions, including against Rosneft, Novatek, Gazprombank and VEB, and authorize defensive military assistance and support for non-NATO allies of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

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