Tuesday, February 22, 2022

OK Congressmembers comment on Ukraine, Biden's foreign and energy policy

Four of Oklahoma's five congressmembers issued statements today regarding the simmering Soviet Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine. Soviet Russian President Vladimir Putin lent official recognition of two Russian-assisted breakaway regions, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic.

In public remarks, Putin seemed to pine for the "good old days" of the Soviet Union, when much of eastern Europe and central Asia was under the thumb of the Kremlin. He seems to be well on his way toward bringing some of those regions and countries back under the direct control or indirect-but-domineering influence of Russia.

Following are press release from U.S. Reps. Stephanie Bice (5th District), Frank Lucas (3rd District), Kevin Hern (1st District), and Tom Cole (4th District):

Bice Statement on Ukraine Crisis

Washington, D.C. (Feb. 22, 2022) – The ongoing situation in Ukraine is rapidly evolving and deeply concerning. The geopolitical consequences in the region will negatively affect the everyday lives of Americans. This crisis caused the price of crude to rise to almost $100 a barrel, which will lead to higher prices at the pumps. Without swift retaliatory actions, this crisis will further embolden Russia and put key NATO allies at risk. In addition, China could respond to these actions by further militarizing the South China Sea.

Congresswoman Bice released the following statement:

“I am deeply concerned with the offensive actions undertaken by the Kremlin. Putin has utilized the weakness shown by this Administration to further his geopolitical goals and invade Ukraine’s sovereign territory. President Biden should make clear that these actions, which are a direct threat to NATO and American interests in the region, will not go unnoticed. I call on the President to immediately provide additional lethal aid, not including American boots on the ground, to Ukraine. The Administration must impose significant sanctions on the Russian government and high-ranking officials.

“In the midst of this crisis, it is imperative that this Administration remove its punitive regulations on American companies so that they may return to their full energy and oil production capabilities. With rising crude and gas prices, we must restore America’s energy independence and lower prices for consumers. Rising prices will harm Americans while lining the pockets of Russian Oligarchs.”

Lucas Statement on Developments in Ukraine

Cheyenne, OK (Tuesday, February 22, 2022) – Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions and developments in Ukraine:

“For close to two decades, Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin has badgered, bullied, and intimidated neighboring countries in an attempt to rewrite the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia’s military action against Ukraine is further evidence that Vladimir Putin is an irresponsible state actor who must pay for the subversion of sovereign and independent nations. 

“The Biden Administration’s failed foreign policy has damaged U.S. credibility and has put our allies in harm’s way. President Biden and Europe must punish Russia’s reckless actions head-on with severe sanctions that cripple Nord Stream 2, Vladimir Putin, and the inner-circle of Russian oligarchs who are responsible for the invasion of Ukraine.

“This crisis highlights Russia is no friend to Europe and the United States should leverage our energy production to fill the void for countries who are too self-reliant on Russian energy. Despite the Biden Administration’s numerous attempts to undermine the United States’ energy independence, now more than ever, it is critical we prioritize American energy and the benefits it brings both domestically and to our allies. 

“As this crisis continues to escalate, it is vital the United States continues to work with allies to condemn Putin for the aggression Russia has demonstrated. We must send a clear and unified message that this type of irreprehensible and alarming military action will not be tolerated, and Russia should expect severe consequences.

"The United States stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and President Biden must ensure that Ukrainian Defense Forces have access to the tools they need to defend themselves and their sovereignty.”

Hern condemns Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, calls on White House for stronger response

TULSA, OK – Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) released the following statement after President Biden’s remarks on Russia’s invasion of the Donbas region in Ukraine.  

“One thing is clear: weak leadership in the White House ripples across the globe,” said Rep. Hern. “President Biden is unwilling to stand up to Putin and is still unclear on what sanctions will be levied against Russia following a clear invasion of Ukraine. World leaders are speaking out, laying strong sanctions on Russia, but the White House’s actions are all reactive. Preventative measures could have been taken months ago, when Senate Democrats filibustered a bill implementing sanctions on Russia. This is not the message we want to send to the world. This is not the precedent we want to set for our allies. The world relies on strong American leadership, but Democrats have proven incapable of providing it – to the detriment of us all.”

Cole Statement on President Biden’s Sanctions on Russia

Moore, OK (February 22, 2022) – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after President Joe Biden addressed the nation regarding Russia's invasion of two regions in Ukraine and U.S. plans to impose sanctions.

“In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden was right to announce planned U.S. sanctions for this aggressive behavior. Unfortunately, I fear this action may be too little too late,” said Cole. “Indeed, Russia has been amassing troops and blood on the Ukrainian border for months now and flouting the limits of international law. While swift and severe sanctions on Russia are important for defending our NATO allies and preserving the order on the world’s stage, I am concerned that Russia is not intimidated or deterred.”


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