BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, made the following statement regarding Vladimir Putin’s recognition of “separatist republics” in the Donbas region of Ukraine, and his deployment of Russian troops into these areas:
"Putin is using smoke and mirrors to continue chipping away at Ukraine’s sovereignty, in hopes that the West won’t react, which has proved to be true thus far. Today’s events are tantamount to an invasion. This is precisely the kind of action that many of us expected, and it is one step closer to Putin’s clear goal of dismantling Ukraine’s sovereignty. The U.S. and our allies must immediately implement harsh sanctions that Putin cannot ignore.
“We also must immediately increase security assistance to Ukraine. This is outlined in my bill, The NYET Act, as are strong and immediate sanctions. If this administration wishes to have a strong and decisive reaction that will deter even more aggressive behavior, they should follow our lead—the world is watching, and decisive action is needed.”