Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGOP senators offering bill to cement business provision in Trump tax law Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law Bipartisan lawmakers introduce bill to combat cyberattacks on state and local governments MORE (R-Ohio) said the stakes are too high for the United States not to help Ukraine defend its borders.

“What happens in Ukraine is very much in our interests,” Portman said on the Senate floor Thursday. “The stakes are very high and the consequences are devastating.”


Portman said Russia is trying to “trample” Ukraine. Russian and separatist forces are gathering along Ukraine’s eastern border. Russia has already annexed Crimea, prompting the Ukrainian president to come to Congress calling for the government to send military support to Ukraine.

Portman said the United States should help Ukraine militarily because the country voluntarily turned over its nuclear weapons at the U.S.'s insistence in exchange for a pledge that borders would be respected. He said otherwise Ukraine wouldn’t be able to defend itself against Russian attacks.

“More than just the credibility of U.S. anti-nuclear proliferation is at risk here,” Portman said. “Failing to honor our commitment to Ukraine will have consequences.”