Shaheen Statement on Russia’s Annexation of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions

February 22, 2022

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin’s illegal annexation of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Ukraine:

“Vladimir Putin’s illegal annexation of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine must be met with fierce condemnation from the global community and a response that sends the message, without equivocation, that NATO, the West and democracies around the world will not sit by while Putin wages war on Ukraine. The administration should utilize the tools at its disposal and levy severe sanctions today. As President Biden made clear last week, and as our allies have reaffirmed, Putin is trying to convince his own people of a lie that the world refuses to acknowledge,” said Shaheen.

She continued, “The only person Putin is fooling is himself. His attempts to divide the West and NATO have only strengthened our transatlantic alliance and our determination to hold him accountable for violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and threatening Europe’s security. I’m glad that Germany is taking steps to halt Nord Stream 2, upholding its commitment to work with the United States and stop the pipeline if Putin violated Ukraine’s sovereignty. Over the last several days, I’ve been in Europe engaging with our allies in support of Ukraine and our frontline NATO partners. Russia will not be allowed to destabilize Europe, threaten our world order or put U.S. national security at risk with this continued belligerence. Putin is using the same playbook that he’s used for decades – his statements, false flags and actions are unoriginal. We know what he is going to do, which is why the United States and the global community should continue to call it out and work together to impose punitive sanctions, assist Ukraine, strengthen NATO and show Putin that the transatlantic community will make him pay for his actions.”

Shaheen is currently in Poland to discuss Russian aggression against Ukraine and the critical role that frontline NATO allies, including Poland, are playing amid the crisis to support Ukraine and safeguard European security. Shaheen was previously in Germany as a participant in the Munich Security Conference.

On Thursday, Shaheen led successful bipartisan effort with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) to pass a resolution that conveys a renewed and overwhelmingly bipartisan message from the U.S. Senate in fierce support of the United States’ Ukrainian partners. Senator Shaheen has long led efforts in the Senate to hold Russia accountable for its malign activity against the U.S. and our allies. Because of her role as a negotiator on Russia sanctions legislation known as “CAATSA” and her successful efforts to ban Kaspersky Lab software from operating on U.S. systems, Shaheen was sanctioned by the Kremlin in 2017. A member of the Senate Ukraine Caucus, Shaheen recently co-led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Ukraine with Ukraine Caucus co-chair Senator Rob Portman to reaffirm U.S. support for Ukraine’s right to defend itself against the Kremlin’s campaign of aggression. Shaheen previously led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, last June.