Russia’s invasion of Ukraine deserves the strongest possible military response and the toughest sanctions, spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said on Monday, adding that the West should not be deterred by the threat of retaliation from Moscow.
Following her visit to Kiev over the weekend, Mrs Pelosi held talks in Poland with President Andrzej Duda on Monday, a meeting aimed at deepening Washington’s partnership with a key NATO ally as the US significantly escalates its commitment to Ukraine’s fight against Russian forces.
Ms. Pelosi said that “the strongest possible military response, the strongest sanctions” are needed “to make it the case that this is not acceptable.”
“We should not do anything less because of a threat from Russia,” she said. “They have already fulfilled their threat that killed children and families, civilians and the rest.”
Russia’s war has put Poland in a critical position with a growing number of US military personnel stationed there. Poland has also become a transit point for weapons and humanitarian aid to Ukraine and the main destination for Ukrainian refugees.
The Polish government has also been a staunch advocate of tougher sanctions against Russia, including in the energy sector. On Monday, EU energy ministers met in Brussels to discuss further steps to curb Russian energy exports, including a gradual phasing out of Russian oil.
Russia’s state energy company, Gazprom, cut off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria last week, causing natural gas futures prices in Europe to jump and underscoring how difficult it is for many European countries, including Germany, to reduce their dependence on Russia’s energy sector. .
After becoming the most senior U.S. official to visit Kiev since the war began, Ms. Pelosi on Sunday promised to support Ukraine, “until victory is won.” She will soon return to Washington, where members of Congress from both sides have called for swift approval of President Biden’s request for more artillery, anti-tank weapons and other hardware for Ukraine.
The Senate this week is likely to take up Mr Biden’s request for an additional $ 33 billion in military aid, which will set the United States in motion to spend as much on helping Ukraine as it did each year on average during the war in Afghanistan.
Senator Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, said Sunday on CBS ‘”Face the Nation” that the Senate would take up the aid package “as soon as we get back to the Senate tomorrow. And I think we need to push it very, very quickly.”
Representative Michael McCaul, a Republican from Texas, said on ABC’s “This Week” that “time is of the essence. The next two to three weeks will be very crucial and very crucial in this war.”
Ms. Pelosi said she also discussed with US Ambassador to Warsaw Mark Brzezinski the possible expansion of NATO’s military presence in Poland as part of “an ongoing conversation on how we support global security.”
She reaffirmed “our nation’s pledge to continue to support Poland’s humanitarian efforts” and praised the country’s people for accepting more than three million refugees from Ukraine, more than any other nation, most of whom are hosted by individuals.