Legislation that would give $1 billion in aid to Ukraine is making its way through Congress, and a federal lawmaker from Wisconsin says it’s the right thing to do.
The bill would establish loan guarantees for Ukraine and give the Obama administration broad authority to impose new sanctions on Russia, after it annexed Crimea earlier this month. U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) says it’s an important step in showing support for the Ukrainian government as it continues to face-off against Russia. Johnson says he wishes Congress could do more, but “what we did do was come together, sent a pretty unifying, pretty strong signal to (Russian President) Vladimir Putin that at least the Congress is unified in our support for the courageous people of Ukraine.”
The Wisconsin Republican says Russian continuing down this road of “aggressive expansionism” is incredibly destabilizing, noting that massing troops along Ukraine’s border and setting up supply lines seems a lot like something you would do before the invasion of a sovereign state. Johnson says allowing harsher sanctions against Putin could slow that behavior, and avoid creating economic instability in the region that could be felt on a global scale.
AUDIO: Sen. Ron Johnson (:12)
The Senate overwhelmingly approved its version of the bill on Thursday. Final action on the aid package, which would send it to President Obama’s desk, is expected to come early next week.
Audio courtesy WRDN-radio.