Graham calls for immediate sanctions on Russia, supports sending American troops to Europe
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) -Sen. Lindsey Graham, R – South Carolina, said he “totally supports” deploying 8,500 American troops to Europe as tensions ramp up with Russia’s military presence along the Ukrainian border swelling to an estimated nearly 130,000 troops.
Speaking during a news conference Tuesday at the State House in Columbia, the state’s senior senator said by sending those troops to the region, the United States would send a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the country and its NATO allies would not back down.
“Everybody is watching,” Graham said. “This is a moment for NATO to show as an organization we’re willing to stand up for our values. It’s a chance for the world to tell bullies that in 2022, you don’t take things because you can.”
Graham said he believes the US needs to sanction Putin and Russia immediately instead of waiting until after an invasion.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden stressed again the serious economic consequences Russia would face if Putin decided to move.
The president did not shy away from the gravity of the consequences if Putin attacked.
“There will be enormous consequences. If he were to go in and invade, he could the entire country or a lot less than as well for Russia, not only in terms of economic consequences and political consequences, but enormous consequences worldwide,” Biden said. “This would be the largest, if he were to move in with all those forces, to be the largest invasion since World War II. It would change the world.”
Graham said he would also support a lend-lease agreement in which the US would send a larger number of weapons and more sophisticated weapons to Ukraine so the nation can defend itself.
“The more dead Russians if [Putin] invades, the most likely this thing will end sooner rather than later,” he said.
Graham said he spoke with several other US senators Monday to try to come up with an agenda for next week to send a message to Putin that the cost of invading Ukraine will be greater for Russia, adding he believes letting Putin take Ukraine will set into motion the most destabilizing period since the 1930s.
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