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Oklahoma lawmakers respond to Ukraine president's address

Zelenskyy Congress
Posted at 9:24 AM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 15:50:41-04

TULSA, Okla. — An Oklahoma lawmaker says the Ukrainian president's address showed them the 'right thing to do' in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Zelenskyy addressed Congress on Wednesday morning and pleaded for a no fly zone over his country to stop Russian attacks.

Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole reacted to the message.

“For nearly three weeks now, the world has watched President Zelenskyy and thousands of brave Ukrainians heroically defend their home against a tyrant’s attempted takeover. This morning, President Zelenskyy addressed the United States Congress to ask for more strategic support. His message was compelling and resolute: Ukraine needs our support.

Since Putin’s unprovoked invasion and ruthless war began, freedom loving people around the world have rallied to show their support for the Ukrainian people. Although the United States, our NATO allies and partners have taken steps to punish Putin’s behavior through sanctions, the fact of the matter is that innocent Ukrainian lives are being claimed every day. The humanitarian crisis continues to worsen, and there are cities in ruin from land warfare on the European continent on a scale unseen since World War II.

As an ardent defender of freedom, it is critical that the United States support Ukraine in their most dire hour and send a clear message to Vladimir Putin that America will not stand for his lawless behavior. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on the specifics of how and when to help Ukraine in their fight for freedom, but I would challenge any lawmaker to say they left that meeting today without knowing that it is the right thing to do.”

Senator James Lankford also commented following Zelensjkyy's speech, here's a transcript:

"I encourage the nation to pray for the people of Ukraine. It’s an incredibly difficult season for them. And, to be able to hear President Zelenskyy today speak to the American people, and speak to the world and say do you see what’s going on and to be able to say to America do you remember 9/11?

What he was pulling from us is, remember that moment in 9/11, when you were attacked, and you wanted the whole world to come to your aid. Now that’s us. We want the whole world to come to our aid. And while we’ve provided anti-tank, anti-aircraft. While we’ve provided them intelligence information, food, water, medical supplies. While we’ve continued to be able to stand alongside of them, they continue to say, ‘Do you see what’s going on? Will you help us?’ 

In a real Biblical sense, there’s a Biblical term that says if it’s within your power to act and you withhold it—that’s really what he was calling out. It’s to say, ‘You have access to aircraft that we could use. That's what we need to defend ourselves. You have access to S-300 anti-aircraft systems, you have access to those, and you’re withholding them. Don’t withhold, don’t hold back from doing good when you have the opportunity to do it.’ 

You could hear President Zelenskyy clearly say it towards the end of his message to everyone. Is to say to President Biden, ‘Don’t just be the leader of America, be the leader of the world, be a leader for peace. Provide what is needed to actually provide peace.’ That’s not an unreasonable request from a person who has taken inbound 1,000 missiles in the last three weeks.

For those of us that have been to Ukraine, to see that video, and to see those places that we recognize, and then to see the side-by-side of what they look like now versus what they looked like just four weeks ago was stark. 

So the simple, clear statements from President Zelenskyy that I would reiterate today that I’ve repeated to people over and over again. Find a practical way to be able to help. There are a lot of aid organizations out there that would love to have Americans jump in to be able to help them personally. Find practical ways to be able to help. Our government, our nation, needs to continue to be able to step up, and what is within our power to do good, we need should do good. To be able to step alongside and be able to help people.

President Zelenskyy was calling on American companies to stop selling products to Russia and stop buying Russian products—to put additional pressure on them. I think it’s a reasonable thing to do as President Zelenskyy said, ‘Peace is more important than income.’ And for any American company that’s saying they’re going to continue to be able to sell luxury products to Russia. They’re choosing income over peace. So I would call on companies, even in my state, or anywhere they may be in the United States, or around the world, to be able to pull back income from Russia, to allow them to feel the effects of what they’re doing to their neighbors around them. And for us, to stop trying to punish Russia for killing civilians and to actually start protecting civilians’ lives."

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