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“There is a price to pay for what Putin has put us through now,” he told reporters during a news conference in Germany. “This is not bullying the world and then taking a walk, and you’re free.”
Pelosi said that even if Russia does not face heavy sanctions for choosing not to invade Kiev, Congress may seek to secure its own response regarding the Kremlin’s aggressive behavior in recent months.
The speaker, joined by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Min., said Russia can expect sanctions. “brutal”. if it violates Ukraine’s sovereignty.
About 40 Republican and Democratic members of Congress joined weekend events in Munich to show solidarity with NATO and Ukraine.
“We want to remove any doubt in the minds of anyone, including the president of Russia, that the United States is here, fully committed in a unified way to working with our European allies and in the interest of diplomacy,” Pelosi said. “Diplomacy lives on in all of this.”
US and NATO security officials have sounded the alarm that Putin could try to invade Ukraine in the coming days, a belief shared by President Biden, who said he is “convinced” that Putin has already decided violate Ukraine’s sovereignty.
“Putin’s assault on Ukraine is an assault on democracy,” Pelosi told reporters. “We all have to know that and respond effectively, appropriately and, in some cases, not humanly speaking but technologically speaking, deadly.”
Schiff echoed the speaker’s comments, saying, “The rest of the world is watching us.”
“If we don’t act in unison to impose the toughest sanctions ever applied, then other nations will feel free to subjugate their democratic neighbors,” he added.
US lawmakers defended the speed with which the NATO alliance responded in unison to Putin’s threat against Ukraine.
“The door to diplomacy remains open and will remain open until Putin slams it shut,” Schiff said. “If Putin invades, the casualties could be huge.
“That loss of life will be entirely Putin’s responsibility,” he continued. “It is the success of Ukrainian democracy that makes the Kremlin nervous and it is the success of democracy everywhere that is also at risk. In that sense, Ukraine’s struggle is our entire struggle, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine.”
The lawmaker’s comments came just hours after Vice President Kamala Harris promised that sanctions against Russia would be “swift and severe” if Putin pushed his troops across Ukraine’s borders.