By Kristina Wong - 05/04/14 09:53 AM EDT
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Sunday that recent violence in Ukraine showed that sanctions against Russian were not working and that the United States needs to provide Ukraine forces with lethal aid.
“It really is getting out of control,” Johnson, who recently traveled to Ukraine, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The sanctions are not going to work [and] really have had little effect.”
Things heated up over the weekend as Ukraine launched its first major assault against armed pro-Russian groups in Slovyansk on Friday.
Also on Friday, pro-Russian and Ukrainian groups clashed, resulting in the deaths of 34 in Odessa.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said “thousands” of pro-Russia protesters in Ukraine were pleading for help.
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt told CNN there was no evidence yet that Russia was behind the violence, but that “someone wanted the violence to explode the way it did.”
Johnson, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, said Putin could be setting the stages for a Russian invasion.
“We really should provide some defensive weaponry, some anti-tank [weapons],” he said.