The clock is ticking as efforts to find a diplomatic solution in Ukraine continue.
US Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) supports the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people as that country fights efforts by Russia to take control of the Crimean region.
“I continue to believe that (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and Russia are violating international law through their actions, and I’m glad that there will be a delegation of U.S. lawmakers going to meet directly with Ukrainian leaders and giving further voice to our support for their democratic aspirations.”
US Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) is currently visiting Ukraine with a bipartisan delegation of eight federal lawmakers. Johnson says it’s important that America acts in coalition with its European allies in telling Putin “this type of unlawful behavior is completely unacceptable.” Baldwin agrees, particularly because of the direct trade relationship with Russia.
“Any economic sanctions are going to have a bigger impact if it involves Russia’s trading partners rather than countries that have very little trade relationship. So I think this is more than just a diplomatic issue right now, this is talking about real consequences for violating international law.”
Crimea’s pro-Russian government is scheduled to hold a referendum vote Sunday on whether to rejoin Russia. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had said if the vote takes place as planned, Russia faces tough sanctions from several nations. After meeting Friday morning with his Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kerry holds a press conference in which he says the referendum is “illegitimate” and the American government will not recognize it.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:27