In a video announcing his order of a “special military operation,” Putin claimed the war “aims to protect people who have been bullied and subjected to genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years.”
U.S. officials, both Democrats and Republicans, have been united in condemning the invasion.
“America stands with Ukraine, and we will do everything we can to help them defend themselves against the Russian Federation,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in a press release Thursday morning.
“The United States has played no part in creating this crisis, but we have a responsibility to support the Ukrainian people as they fight to defend their own sovereignty.”
Cornyn said “it would be naive to think” that Putin’s end goal is simply Ukraine and that “the security of Europe is also in question.
“This is not just about Ukraine. This is not just about Europe,” said Cornyn. “This is about America’s credibility and that of our friends and allies around the world and our willingness to stand up for our values and defend our freedoms. If the U.S. fails to support Ukraine, other authoritarian movements like those in China and Iran will take note.”
Democrats have likewise condemned the war against Ukraine, calling for swift and severe actions to be taken against Russia.
“In close coordination with our allies in the European Union, NATO, and around the world, we must now move quickly and decisively to isolate and cripple Russia economically while also supporting the legitimate, democratically elected government of Ukraine as they resist this attack,” said Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX-32), one of Texas’ members of Congress who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Allred called Putin’s invasion “a strategic mistake” that has united “the West, the EU, NATO and even the U.S. Congress.”
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20), another member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, stated, “If Russia is allowed to invade Ukraine without consequence, we will return to a world where the strong prey on the weak and sovereignty is conditioned on military might.”
“Putin’s actions in Ukraine have already caused a global rise in energy prices and exacerbated inflation,” said Castro. “Continued Russian aggression could raise the prices we pay for everything from cars to food to heating oil.”
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), the ranking member on the committee, released a joint statement with Reps. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Mike Turner (R-OH), the ranking members of two other committees.
“Today, we stand resolute with the Ukrainian people and resolve to provide them with the tools they need to withstand and repel this unprovoked attack,” they said. “Every drop of Ukrainian and Russian blood spilled in this conflict is on Putin’s hands, and his alone.”
“In response, we are committed to enacting the strongest possible sanctions and export controls to cripple Russia’s ability to make war, punish its barbarity and relegate the Putin regime to the status of an international pariah. We cannot respond like we did in 2008 or 2014. The world must never forget or forgive this heinous act.”
Other Republicans have been critical of the Biden administration’s policies toward Russia thus far.
“In the coming days I will be taking aggressive steps to demand that President Biden reverse course to finally impose crippling costs on Vladimir Putin and prevent further death and destruction in Ukraine; to fully defend the United States and our allies from malign actors and enemies,” said Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX-11). “Now is the time for strength, not weakness.”
Over the past six months, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was in a standoff with the Biden administration, delaying the confirmation of State Department nominees to use as leverage to urge the president to reinstate sanctions against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was constructed as a way to funnel oil directly between Russia and Germany.
Critics contended that the pipeline would be used as a means to soften European responses to a Ukrainian invasion and would strengthen Russia’s power over Germany and other countries.
In January, Senate leadership agreed to a vote on legislation on the matter from Cruz.
“The debate before this chamber is, do we impose sanctions before an invasion in order to stop the invasion, or do we threaten sanctions after an invasion is done?” Cruz said on the floor before the vote.
Only 55 senators voted for the measure that needed 60 votes to move forward.
Though construction of the pipeline has been completed, its operation has not begun.
This week, the Biden administration reimposed sanctions on the project.
“President Biden made the right decision today. Allowing Putin’s Nord Stream 2 to come online would have created multiple, cascading, and acute security crises for the United States and our European allies for generations to come,” said Cruz in response.
“Today’s announcement should be followed by additional steps inside the Biden administration and in Congress to permanently lock in sanctions. Putin believes that Nord Stream 2’s activation is a fait accompli now that it has been physically completed, and that any barriers or sanctions are only temporary. His aggression toward Ukraine is based on that assessment, and the only way to change his decision calculus is to convince him Nord Stream 2 will never come online.”
In addition to sanctions on the Russian pipeline, Texas Republicans have also ramped up calls to ramp up U.S. oil production, as the war in Ukraine fuels the already strained supply and demand for oil.
“I am glad the sanctions have been re-imposed,” said Pfluger. “President Biden must follow this up by cutting the red tape and unleashing American energy production.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02) has said that America needs to stop importing the resource from Russia and make up for it by increasing our own production.
“We import 595,000 barrels of oil per day from Russia. The Keystone XL pipeline would have produced 830,000 barrels per day. Relying on Russian oil is a choice. And it’s a stupid one,” said Crenshaw.
Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.
Daniel Friend is the Marketing and Media Manager for The Texan. After graduating with a double-major in Political Science and Humanities, he wrote for The Texan as a reporter through June 2022. In his spare time, you're likely to find him working on The Testimony of Calvin Lewis, an Abolition of Man-inspired novel and theatrical podcast.