Statement by Bob Menendez, Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

“Vladimir Putin clearly underestimated the courage and determination of the Ukrainian people, who are putting up a brave and impressive defense, and miscalculated the power of transatlantic unity.

“First, I strongly support the administration’s statement that another $ 350 million in security assistance will be provided to Ukraine. Since the Biden administration began its work, the United States has approved more than $ 1 billion in assistance to Ukraine in security. We must quickly deploy additional deadly weapons, ammunition and body armor to protect Ukraine from Putin’s illegal and unwarranted invasion.

“I also welcome the further action announced today by the United States, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Canada to continue to hold Putin accountable for causing unnecessary suffering to the Ukrainian people and imposing drastic costs on the Russian economy.

“The imposition of sanctions against the Central Bank of Russia and the removal of some Russian financial institutions from the SWIFT messaging system will deal a historic blow to Putin and the elite who have reaped the fruits of his repressive regime. I look forward to considering the details of these measures.

“Many of us have understood this for many years, but now the world clearly believes that Russia is officially an outcast state. As the free world considers additional sanctions, especially against institutions and oligarchs that continue to favor Putin, we must spare no effort to make the invasion of Ukraine costly for Putin, Russian elites, and the Russian economy. The West is responsible for urgently increasing pressure on the Kremlin’s dictatorship, which seeks to destroy democracy in central Europe. I am encouraged by this international solidarity and call for continued inertia against Putin’s actions. “

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