Kelly Statement on Ukraine: Time is now to implement significant sanctions against Putin and Russia

Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly issued the following statement on Russia falsely claiming the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine and ordering troops into those areas:

“This is a blatant violation of Ukrainian independence and international law and we must show resolve in supporting their freedom.

“The time is now for the United States, alongside our allies, to implement significant sanctions against Putin, his backers, and the Russian government for this incursion. 

“I have supported and will continue to support providing Ukraine with weapons and equipment to defend themselves against further Russian invasion, and will continue working with my colleagues and this administration to defend Ukrainian sovereignty.”

Further background:

Through his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and as Chair of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities (ETC), Kelly has worked on and supported security assistance to Ukraine. As ETC Chair, Kelly oversees security cooperation policy. 

The U.S. provided $650 million in security assistance to Ukraine last year alone – the most ever – and has expedited aid in recent weeks. The most recent defense bill includes an additional $300 million in security assistance for Ukraine, as well additional aid for other Eastern European allies. And the temporary government funding bill passed by Congress last week authorized $100 million in immediate military assistance that is available to further help Ukraine. 

In January, Kelly voted in favor of sanctions related to the Nordstream 2 pipeline that was built to bring Russian natural gas to Europe. 

Kelly is an original cosponsor of the Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act, which contains comprehensive Russia sanctions and security aid to Ukraine.