Virginia’s U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner, Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement today after Russian President Vladimir Putin decided to formally recognize the independence of Moscow-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine and ordered troops into those areas:
“I just returned to Washington after several days of meetings with our partners and allies in Munich and in London. My takeaway from those meetings is this: the West has never been as resolute or as unified in standing up to Putin’s brazen, reckless and illegal course of action. The United States and our partners stand with the cause of democracy and with the people of Ukraine at this perilous moment.
“Along with my colleagues in Congress, I support President Biden’s measures to impose significant costs on Russia and its autocratic government in response to its unjustified and unacceptable aggression. Those announced today by the President, taken in coordination with our allies, are a good first step, and we must be prepared to impose additional costs on Putin if he carries through on his threats to further invade Ukraine.
“I will also support measures to bolster the readiness and deterrence of the NATO alliance. While we do not want escalation between nuclear powers, there must be no mistake regarding NATO’s readiness to protect its members and deter Russia’s aggression. Putin’s misguided and dangerous actions will only act to further unify this decades-strong alliance of nations.”