Gallego leads congressional delegation to Ukraine
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Ukraine over the weekend as fears grow about a possible Russian military invasion.
Gallego, chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations, told CNN on Sunday that he organized the trip to “get an in-depth understanding of what’s happening in Ukraine.”
Gallego was joined by Reps. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) — all members of the Armed Services panel, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said on Twitter.
.@RepRubenGallego @RepJoeWilson @RepCarbajal @RepMoulton & @michaelgwaltz reaffirmed support for ’s sovereignty & territorial integrity & reaffirmed our commitment to taking strong measures in response to any further incursion. pic.twitter.com/VQpnUVAx5K
— U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) December 13, 2021
The delegation left on Friday and is expected to return on Monday, a spokesperson for Gallego’s office told The Hill.
The trip comes as Russia masses thousands of troops near the border, sparking concerns that Moscow will invade Ukraine, like when it annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
In a statement on Sunday, the Group of Seven nations warned that Russia “should be in no doubt” that further aggression toward Ukraine will have “massive consequences and severe cost in response.”
Support for Ukraine amid Russia’s aggression has emerged as a rare area of bipartisanship.
Speaking to CNN, Gallego called for the U.S. to impose “extreme sanctions” against Russia and said the U.S. has to be willing to “back Ukraine in any possible way.”
“We have to give them the capability for them to resist Ukraine, Russian invasion, both prior to the invasion, but even post-invasion, making sure that we bring in weaponry that will actually, you know, put a toll on the Russian troop movements,” he said.
Waltz similarly said on Twitter that Ukraine “needs our help now” to defend itself against Moscow.
“The Biden Administration can no longer withhold lethal aid to the Ukrainian military with the hope of ‘not provoking’ Putin,” Waltz tweeted. “Serious sanctions and lethal aid should be put in place now to raise costs deter this invasion, rather than threatening consequences AFTER an invasion.”
Serious sanctions and lethal aid should be put in place now to raise costs deter this invasion, rather than threatening consequences AFTER an invasion.
— Rep. Mike Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) December 13, 2021
The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment
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