In September 2021, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., where Biden pledged support for the nation’s sovereignty amid Russian threats. On Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022, Biden accused Russia of launching an invasion against Ukraine.
Speaking to the Alaska Legislature Tuesday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski described her alarm over Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the risk it poses to Europe.
“We are glued to our TV screens by what we are seeing in Russia and Ukraine. We have witnessed the largest troop buildup in Europe since World War II,” Murkowski said.
“As we know, the invasion has begun. What we feared has begun. Russia is threatening not just Ukraine but the international order and the norms that have prevailed for decades,” Murkowski said. “We are entering a new phase of this crisis.”
Murkowski noted Alaska’s strategic role in security and defense. She said that a full-scale invasion of Ukraine would have implications globally and in Alaska, given the state’s proximity to Russia’s eastern border.
“Alaska remains the most strategic place in the world. Military commanders know that value,” Murkowski said later in her address.
As Russian troops moved into eastern Ukraine Tuesday, President Biden warned that the movements represent the start of “an invasion.” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered U.S. troops and aircraft to redeploy within Europe to reinforce NATO.
Sen. Sullivan at international security conference
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, said that his nation wants peace and that Ukraine needs support from the U.S. military. He said that western leaders should not try to appease Russian President Vladimir Putin.
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, is part of a bipartisan congressional delegation at the Munich Security Conference, a global forum on international security. The delegation released a statement Monday condemning Russia’s actions and pledging “emergency supplemental legislation” to support NATO and the people of Ukraine. The delegation is led by U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island.
“No matter what happens in the coming days, we must assure that the dictator Putin and his corrupt oligarchs pay a devastating price for their decision,” the bipartisan group said.
Rep. Young: Time for America to stand with Ukraine
Late Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, called Putin’s actions “an egregious act that must be condemned and responded to.”
“This is the time for America to stand with the Ukrainian people against Putin’s unprovoked and undemocratic assault,” Young said.
Young said he was pleased Germany halted the Nord Stream 2 pipeline over Russia’s aggression toward Ukraine. He warned that the gas pipeline from Russia to Europe would put many European nations “further under the thumb of the Russian government.”
“The time is now to truly unleash Alaska — and America’s — energy sector. There is no reason for America and our allies to rely on Russian energy exports when we can produce it right here at home,” Young said.
Murkowski offered similar statements in her address to the Legislature. She described Biden administration policies as “incoherent” toward Alaska’s natural resource development.
Young continued: “This week, President Biden finally announced sanctions against Russia, but why did it take so long? This is not only a crisis for freedom-loving people in Ukraine, but a test for our nation.
“Unfortunately, President Biden waited for Putin to be breathing down Ukraine’s neck before taking action. Other adversaries like China, Iran and North Korea are watching. They are taking notes on how we respond, which is why we must firmly and decisively stand up to Putin in defense of Ukrainian sovereignty.”
Contact Linda F. Hersey at 907-459-7575 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMpolitics.