Portman Statement on the Illegal Russian Assault on Ukraine

February 23, 2022 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) released the following statement on the illegal Russian assault on Ukraine:

“Tonight, President Putin declared an illegal, unwarranted attack on the people of Ukraine.  I condemn this latest Russian invasion of Ukraine in the strongest possible terms. This violation of the territorial integrity of a sovereign nation is unprovoked, is a flagrant violation of international law, and will result in senseless loss of life.

"This is a foreign policy crisis not just for Ukraine, but for the United States and all freedom-loving countries around the globe. It has already begun to destabilize Eastern Europe in ways not seen since World War II and started a humanitarian crisis.

“It is absolutely vital that the United States immediately take decisive action to support Ukraine and our NATO allies in Eastern Europe.

“First, President Putin must be held accountable for his actions. Among other measures, the United States and other allies must enact devastating sanctions on Russian leadership, oligarchs, and the economy, including secondary sanctions on financial institutions and sectoral sanctions.

“The Biden administration promised tough sanctions. The administration must stand by that commitment. We can and we must cripple Russia’s military by starving it of financing.

“Next, we must impose export and import controls, especially of vital electronic goods like semiconductors. Doing so could restrict the tools Russia needs to manufacture and resupply its military.

“Next, we must increase military support to Ukraine and other allies in the region, including Poland, Romania, and the Baltic countries. The administration’s approval of the sale of 250 M1A2 Abrams tanks to Poland and its decision to reposition U.S. forces in Europe to more forward posture as a defensive measure are positive first steps but more must be done. In addition to increased military support to Ukraine including antitank, antiship, anti aircraft and an array of other weapons, a NATO Rapid Response Force is warranted alongside an increased U.S. posture in the Baltics and Poland.

“We must also improve the readiness of our own military as an act of deterrence during the current budget process in order to ensure our most innovative and effective defense technologies receive needed support and to also ensure that our current systems and military hardware do not fall into further disrepair.”