Pelosi: Sanctions ‘are going to be painful’ if Putin decides to invade Ukraine

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Saturday said if Russian President Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine, the move would be “an attack on democracy” and reiterated that the U.S. and NATO would respond with strong and swift sanctions.

During a press briefing at the Munich Security Conference, Pelosi said Putin cannot just “bully the world” without facing consequences.

“There is a price to pay,” the Speaker said. “If he decides to [invade], it won’t be a long time for the Russian people, sadly, to feel the impact of the [sanctions because of] insecure decisions being made by their president.”

Pelosi appeared at the press briefing with Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Democratic California Reps. Adam Schiff and Barbara Lee. The congressional delegation hoped that diplomacy would prevail, but the window for a peaceful resolution is quickly closing.

Concerns of a potential invasion of Ukraine have mounted amid a steady Russian military buildup at the border with Ukraine. The Russian military has amassed about 190,000 troops at the border, and there have been reports of a smattering of violence in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists are fighting the Ukrainian military. 

In addition, leaders of the separatist territories signed a general mobilization decree, authorizing the use of the military’s reserves as well as calling on able-bodied men to take up arms. 

Pelosi said she met with NATO leaders and the chancellor of Germany and that the “conclusions that were reached are going to be swift, and they are going to be fierce, and they are going to be painful.”

The Speaker explained the sanctions could affect other European countries but that NATO was united to stop the aggression in Europe.

Pelosi added that Putin was escalating the conflict because he feared the rise of democracy across the world.

“I think that part of his fear and Putin’s insecurity is that the people of Ukraine had embraced democracy,” she said.

Tags Adam Schiff Barbara Lee Betty McCollum Germany Joe Biden Munich Security Conference Nancy Pelosi Russian sanctions Ukraine-Russia conflict Vladimir Putin

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