McConnell Statement on Russian Invasion of Ukraine

BOWLING GREEN, KYU.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued the following statement this afternoon regarding Putin’s invasion of Ukraine:

As I stated several days ago, it was clear that Putin’s initial aggression was just a small foretaste of what this thug had planned for Ukraine. Now we are watching his full brutality unfold. But this behavior will not stop with Ukraine. Russia’s aggressive ambitions threaten the core interests of the United States, NATO, and the West, as strong voices like Senator Romney have been warning for years.

Sadly, deterrence after the fact is not deterrence at all. The President should have exercised his extensive sanctions authorities to impose certain tough sanctions early enough to actually deter invasion and weaken Russia. We should have ensured that the pipeline of lethal aid to Ukraine was flowing far sooner. And we should have sent more reinforcements to support NATO’s eastern flank allies earlier.

The entire world is now watching how we respond. For its part, Congress would support truly devastating sanctions against the Kremlin and its enablers.

Going forward, as I’ve said before, the United States and NATO must redouble our material support for Ukraine’s resistance, further shore up our allies, get serious about energy independence, and invest in the capabilities needed for long-term military competition with Russia and China. Here in Congress, upcoming defense spending measures will provide an opportunity to lead by example.

Moving forward, how America leads the response from all freedom-loving nations will be measured carefully by our friends, by our adversaries, and by history itself. We cannot afford to fail this test.