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Oklahoma leaders respond to developing tension with Russia

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Posted at 3:21 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 16:28:28-05

TULSA, Okla. — Elected officials representing Oklahoma spoke out Tuesday in response to the rapidly developing tension between Russia and NATO in Ukraine.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) joined the American Center for Law and Justice Jay Sekulow radio show Tuesday to push for sanctions on Russia.

"While a lot of people have been focusing on Russia, rightly so-these are Russian troops that are moving into eastern Ukraine even right now-and if they are planning to be able to move in on Kyiv from the north, that's through Belarus," Lankford said. "That's Belarus facilitating it. Belarus right now is doing joint exercises with the Russians. They are preparing the way for the Russians to be able to move in. They should face the same kind of sanctions that Russia is facing, even if their troops don't cross the border. They're still facilitating the process."

President Joe Biden imposed further sanctions on Russia Tuesday afternoon following moves from Russian President Vladimir Putin that the White House is seeing as an invasion.

MORE >>> White House announces round of sanctions on Russia after it calls moves on Ukraine an invasion

U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern (R-District 1) called on the White House for a stronger response on Tuesday.

Hern released the following statement:

“One thing is clear: weak leadership in the White House ripples across the globe. President Biden is unwilling to stand up to Putin and is still unclear on what sanctions will be levied against Russia following a clear invasion of Ukraine. World leaders are speaking out, laying strong sanctions on Russia, but the White House’s actions are all reactive. Preventative measures could have been taken months ago, when Senate Democrats filibustered a bill implementing sanctions on Russia. This is not the message we want to send to the world. This is not the precedent we want to set for our allies. The world relies on strong American leadership, but Democrats have proven incapable of providing it – to the detriment of us all.”

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-District 4) also responded to Biden's announcement for more sanctions on Tuesday:

“In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden was right to announce planned U.S. sanctions for this aggressive behavior. Unfortunately, I fear this action may be too little too late. Indeed, Russia has been amassing troops and blood on the Ukrainian border for months now and flouting the limits of international law. While swift and severe sanctions on Russia are important for defending our NATO allies and preserving the order on the world’s stage, I am concerned that Russia is not intimidated or deterred.”

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