ASPEN, Colo. – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today spoke on a panel entitled “A View From the Hill” during the 2023 Aspen Security Forum.
On Xi watching to see what happens in Ukraine:
“We have not only a moral obligation to do this, we’ve got a legal obligation to do this… One of the most important reasons is if you think Xi isn’t watching every single thing that goes on as far as our commitment to see this thing through, you’re badly mistaken. He is watching this – and I have reason to believe that for a fact – very, very closely, and watching every utterance that comes out of the United States Congress, out of the administration, and out of the American people as to what kind of a stomach we’ve got to see this thing through.
On the need for the Biden Administration to send equipment to Ukraine faster:
“When this started, I said give them everything that shoots other than nuclear weapons. I said give them clusters, give them the HIMARS, give them ATACMS – give them everything short of nuclear weapons.
“I’m tired of hearing about escalation… If you don’t escalate, you’re going to lose. I want Putin to wake up in the morning worried about what he’s going to do that’s going to cause us to escalate instead of us wringing our hands and saying ‘we can’t do that.’”
On the strength of the Ukrainians:
“This war is over as far as who’s lost. Russia has lost. The Ukrainians haven’t won. But Russia has lost. Their objective was to occupy that country. They are never going to occupy that country. [The Ukrainians] will fight with sticks and stones in the streets, which Putin has now figured out and the rest of the world has figured out.”
On the need to make Russia pay to rebuild Ukraine:
“Russia has got to pay the price for this. It’s easy to say ‘oh this is Putin’s war.’ I have no doubt that when Putin’s gone, Russia’s going to say this was his war, it was a terrible mistake, we had nothing to do with it. The Ukrainians are not going to buy that… They’re going to insist that the Russian people pay the price for this.”
These remarks have been lightly edited for clarity. The full panel discussion can be viewed here.