Top Republican lawmakers are calling for the Biden administration to send military aid to Ukraine amid reports of Russian troops amassing at the border between the two countries, but not all conservatives are on board with being entangled in the conflict.
Recent news of Russian tank and ground troop movement along the Ukrainian border sparked widespread speculation over Russia’s intentions, as well as calls for the United States to intervene if Russian President Vladimir Putin were to invade.
From think tanks to Capitol Hill, there’s a bipartisan consensus in Washington that the United States should assist Ukraine against Russia.
The Biden administration dispatched CIA Director William Burns to Moscow on Nov. 2 to express concern about the military buildup near Ukraine, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken followed up on Nov. 10 by warning Russia against making a “serious mistake” by acting aggressively against its neighbor.
The United States has committed more than $2.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea.
Republicans want to do more. A total of 15 conservative lawmakers wrote a letter to President Joe Biden on the matter, urging him to send military aid to Ukraine.
“It is imperative that the U.S. fulfill its commitment to a key partner by increasing lethal aid to Ukraine in order to deter and repel a renewed Russian incursion,” reads the Nov. 5 letter, whose signers included Reps Michael Turner (R-Ohio) and Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the ranking members of the House Subcommittee on Strategic Forces and the Committee on Armed Services, respectively.
“Additionally, we urge you to immediately consider an appropriate U.S. military presence and posture in the region and to initiate appropriate intelligence sharing activities between the U.S. and Ukraine to prevent the situation from escalating further.”
But not all conservatives share the sentiments expressed in the letter. Fox News host Tucker Carlson grilled Turner about the issue on his show on Nov. 10, asking the congressman why it’s in America’s interest to entangle itself in an Eastern European border dispute.
“I wonder why the emphasis on Ukraine’s borders and not ours?” Carlson asked.
By Ken Silva
Turner and Rogers Urges President Biden to Take Action at the Russia-Ukraine Border
WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, senior member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10), alongside Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-3), led a group of colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden urging the Biden Administration to take swift action against Russia’s most recent buildup at the Ukrainian Border.
Earlier this week, Politico released satellite imagery of the massive buildup of troops, tanks, armed units, and artillery along towns near Ukraine’s northern border. While Russia’s intentions are currently unknown, it is sending an elite tank unit near the Ukraine border, elevating international concern.
After sending the letter to the Biden Administration, Congressman Turner and Ranking Member Rogers released the following statement:
“Russia continues to undermine the international community. This most recent build-up at the Ukrainian border demonstrates Putin’s desire to weaken democracies and his disregard for NATO’s call for disarmament, ” said Rep Turner. “The U.S. must remain committed to protecting the sovereignty and security of Ukraine as Russia continues to be a grave threat to their region. I urge the Biden administration to immediately provide support to the Ukrainians to help de-escalate this dangerous situation,” concluded Turner.
“Putin has spent months deliberately escalating tensions with Ukraine. President Biden must send a clear message to Moscow that the United States and our NATO allies will defend our free European neighbors against Russian aggression,” said Ranking Member Rogers. “Sending the wrong message at this critical time could have dire consequences for the people of Ukraine and our important international obligations.”
You can read the full letter below and here.