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Russian forces have launched attacks on Ukranian bases and cities. Along with the explosions in multiple cities, Ukraine’s government says Russian tanks and troops have rolled across the border in what they are calling a “full-scale war.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the actions are necessary to protect civilians and restore order.
NATO’s Secretary General says this is a grave moment for the security of Europe. Diplomats are gathering for an emergency Security Council meeting at the United Nations. The Security Council is expected to vote on a resolution against Russia on Thursday, but it’s unlikely to pass.
As a permanent council member, Russia holds veto power.
Biden says he’ll be meeting with the leaders of the G7 and other allies and partners Thursday to impose new sanctions on Russia. The president is expected to deliver public remarks on those sanctions in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, Minnesota politicians weighed in as reports continued to proliferate from the region.
“Minnesota stands with the people of Ukraine and condemns Russia for this illegal aggression. Leaders across the world must unite and respond to this attack on democracy,” tweeted Gov. Tim Walz.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar said “there must now be swift sanctions and consequences.” Klobuchar was one of seven U.S. senators — four Democrats and three Republicans — who traveled to Ukraine to meet with that country’s president and other officials in January.
“Russia’s invasion of a peaceful Ukraine is an act of unprovoked military aggression that must be condemned,” Rep. Betty McCollum, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, said. “The Biden administration, with the bipartisan support of Congress and our NATO and European allies, will respond in a united and decisive manner. The strongest possible sanctions must be imposed on Russian financial institutions, oligarchs, and political leaders by the U.S. and the international community. The world must make Vladimir Putin understand in explicit, unequivocal terms that his actions will have severe consequences. Having met with world leaders, allies, and parliamentarians many times during my service in Congress, never before have I witnessed such a unified stance like the one our democratic allies showed at the Munich Security Conference in response to Putin’s aggression. He will not divide us. My prayers are with the Ukrainian people and their struggle for freedom.”
“Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is unacceptable. The United States must stand strong with the Ukrainian people and our allies against this aggression, and Putin’s actions must have severe consequences. I am praying for the Ukrainian people during their fight for freedom,” Rep. Pete Stauber tweeted.
Rep. Dean Phillips said, “Shame on anyone who put politics above principle right now.”
“This morning, as we watch the news of war in Europe unfold, my heart is with the Ukrainian people. I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, this unlawful military action by Russia, which will doubtlessly lead to profound human loss and suffering,” Rep. Angie Craig said. “Vladimir Putin’s actions violate the core principles that uphold global peace and security, seeking to change the borders of a sovereign country by force. This demonstrates a clear disregard for Ukraine’s sovereignty and the rights of the Ukrainian people – and is in clear violation of international law. In the hours and days to come, the United States, in coordination with its allies around the globe, must impose severe economic consequences on Russia, support NATO and rally international support for the legitimate, democratically elected government of Ukraine.”
“Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty is unjust and unacceptable. We are dealing with a culmination of this administration’s failed economic policy, energy policy, and foreign policy. It is past time for the United States to reassert its leadership. America and the rest of the free world must stand together in face of this aggression,” Rep. Michelle Fischbach said. “I pray for and stand in solidarity with our friends and democratic allies, the people of Ukraine.”
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms Vladimir Putin’s reckless, illegal invasion of Ukraine. My thoughts are with the Ukrainian civilians who have already suffered immensely and are again suffering the brunt of this terrible conflict. We must continue to support diplomacy even as it becomes more difficult – though it is becoming harder to imagine, this could still escalate to something much more devastating,” Rep. Ilhan Omar said. “I support sanctions that are targeted at Putin, his oligarchs, and the Russian military, including and especially targeted at their offshore assets. But I will continue to oppose broad-based sanctions that would amount to collective punishment of a Russian population that did not choose this. I am heartened that the Biden Administration has included humanitarian exemptions and general licenses to the first tranche of sanctions, but I am also aware that exemptions and licenses have never been sufficient to prevent indiscriminate human suffering.
“Vladimir Putin’s unwarranted invasion of Ukraine is a result of weak leadership on the world stage,” Rep. Tom Emmer said. “Our hearts go out to the Ukrainian people and their families as they bear the brunt of these unlawful actions, and our response to these aggressions must be done in a swift and unwavering manner that holds Russia – and any other nation seeking to violate international law – to account, while restoring American energy and economic dominance here at home.”