KLOBUCHAR: “Our message is there will be consequences if he chooses to violate the sanctity of this democracy.”
WASHINGTON – At a press conference following a meeting with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) reiterated the United States’ strong bipartisan support for Ukraine as it continues to face Russian aggression. “We know the administration from every level, the U.S. administration from the Secretary of State to the President himself, have pledged to help this country,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar also spoke about actions the U.S. is prepared to take in defense of Ukraine, including implementing sanctions against Russia. “Our message is there will be consequences if he chooses to violate the sanctity of this democracy…Congress is looking at additional sanctions that are not yet authorized by law,” she said, referring to legislation she and 38 of her colleagues introduced last week to impose steep costs for Russia in the event of a renewed Kremlin invasion of Ukraine.
Klobuchar announced this morning that she and a bipartisan group of colleagues, including Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), traveled to Ukraine to meet with President Zelenskyy.
Klobuchar’s remarks at the press conference can be found below. Full audio of the press conference can be found here.
“I’m Senator Amy Klobuchar from the state of Minnesota. I’m proud to be part of this delegation. At a moment of a lot of political divides in Washington, D.C., which we could do an entire press conference about, we instead choose to be here in unity. From conservative Republicans to liberal Democrats. And that is because we stand with Ukraine, we stand with the brave, brave people of Ukraine who have now lost – and I think it’s important for our country, for our citizens to know this – 14,000 people at the hands of Russia.
“We were briefed by the embassy this morning. We know the administration from every level, the U.S. administration from the Secretary of State to the President himself, have pledged to help this country. And that means everything from the aid that has been given, the congressional work led by Senators Shaheen and Portman, and also the sanctions bill that Senator Menendez put forward. I’m one of the cosponsors but a number of us are focused on as we move forward. So our message is there will be consequences if he chooses to violate the sanctity of this democracy.”
“In the U.S., there’s two things going on. One is that the Biden administration is looking at what sanctions are within their power to implement, looking at section by section of the economy. And they’ve already committed to be looking at that. And those sanctions are only most effective, and can be effective, if we work with our allies. And so that’s the other piece of the negotiations and what’s happening.
"The other thing that’s happening that’s more in our control – the people up here – is that Congress is looking at additional sanctions that are not yet authorized by law. That is the bill that I referred to that Senator Menendez, the head of the Foreign Relations Committee, is leading. And those include personal limitations on travel and personal sanctions against individuals, including Vladimir Putin. So both things are at play in a serious way right now as the threats continue.”
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