Sanctions stopping Putin's advance in Ukraine, Engel says

Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelLawmakers pay tribute to Colin Powell NYC snafu the latest flub from a broken elections agency Cynthia Nixon backs primary challenger to Rep. Carolyn Maloney MORE (D-N.Y.) on Sunday dismissed arguments that sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies were not working against Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinMore than 50 dead, one rescued in Russian mine explosion NATO to discuss ways to deter Russia: Lithuanian official Putin says he took experimental nasal COVID-19 vaccine MORE.

ADVERTISEMENT

Engel said the fact that Putin has not further invaded Ukraine was proof that sanctions were affecting his decisionmaking.

“He has all these troops poised at the border … he hasn’t crossed the border yet,” the ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Engel, who recently returned from Ukraine, said Putin knows if Russian forces were to cross into Ukraine, tough sanctions that would bring the Russian economy “to its knees” would follow.

However, Engel said Putin was “trying everything he can” to disrupt planned May 25 elections in Ukraine.

“It’s very, very important that the elections go smoothly,” he said. “Those elections on May 25 have to happen … it is so important.”

Violence and instability in eastern Ukraine have increased over the last few days, as Ukrainian forces undertook a major assault in Slovyansk, and Ukrainian and pro-Russian groups clashed in Odessa, killing 34.

Yet, Engel conceded that the U.S. might need to do more than sanction Russia.

“We do need to consider giving military aid to Ukraine,” he said.