Colorado members of Congress weigh in on Ukraine crisis as Russian invasion underway
U.S. Rep. Jason Crow speaks during a press conference on Capitol Hill with members of The American Legion on June 16, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
U.S. Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado was among the two dozen members of a bipartisan congressional delegation that traveled to Europe over the weekend for the Munich Security Conference, where Western leaders met to discuss the threat posed by a buildup of Russian military forces along the border with Ukraine.
As Russian President Vladimir Putin signed orders recognizing the sovereignty of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine and observers said an invasion appeared increasingly likely, Crow wrote in a Monday Twitter post that it was “time to stand with Ukraine.”
“The past few days I met with Ukrainian political and civil society leaders in Europe,” said Crow, a Democrat who represents the 6th Congressional District and sits on both the House intelligence and armed-services committees. “As they boarded planes back to Ukraine, their message was clear and inspiring: We will fight and die for our freedom, but we need help.”
GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX
Meanwhile, Rep. Lauren Boebert, the first-term Republican congresswoman representing Colorado’s 3rd District, used the occasion to attack President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who also attended the Munich summit.
“Biden sent Kamala to Europe to fix the problem in Ukraine and now Putin gives a speech recognizing sovereignty for two Ukrainian regions,” Boebert wrote on Twitter. “Everywhere she goes, failure follows.”
Boebert previously attempted to tie the escalating tensions over Ukraine to the 2014 hiring of Biden’s son Hunter by Ukrainian natural-gas company Burisma, which has formed the basis of right-wing conspiracies that have been repeatedly debunked. She has both expressed opposition to “foreign aid” to Ukraine and criticized Biden for halting aid. Her office didn’t respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, condemned the invasion and called on Russia to cease its occupation of the Crimea and Donbass regions.
“The United States Congress will continue to pursue and enact all measures within our power to impose stiff costs on the Russian government until Ukraine is free,” Lamborn said in a statement. “As a steadfast member of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus, my hope for the Ukrainian people is that they may once again live in peace and continue to define their own destiny.”
Lamborn added that rising tensions with Russia demonstrate the need for the U.S. to “modernize and supplement” its nuclear arsenal. “We must choose strength and demonstrate resolve to deter use of nuclear weapons, and this can only be accomplished with a robust and credible American nuclear deterrent,” he said.
Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, released a statement Tuesday condemning “Russian aggression.”
“Putin’s egregious rejection of Ukrainian sovereignty violates international law,” Bennet said. “President Biden must respond with severe sanctions in coordination with allied democracies immediately. We must hold Putin accountable for his aggression and stand with the Ukrainian people’s desire for an independent and democratic nation.”
Editor’s note: This post was updated at 3:46 p.m., Feb. 22, 2022, to include a statement from Rep. Lamborn.
SUPPORT NEWS YOU TRUST.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.