Politics Ernst on Russian buildup on Ukraine border: 'We must prepare for the worst'
The president of Ukraine accused Russia of preparing a coup, as Russian troops amass near the border
Voldymyr Zelensky said he has information that Russia is involved in a coup planned for December 1 or 2. The US has also warned of a Russian invasion.Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that he has information that Russia is involved in a coup planned for December 1 or December 2, Reuters reported.
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) on Sunday called on President Biden to take a tougher stance toward Russia amid its increased military presence along the Ukraine border, inciting concerns of an imminent invasion.
"It's hard to know what Vladimir Putin is thinking and what his true intentions are, but we do see a very aggressive action on his part, amassing his troops on the Ukrainian border. So we must prepare for the worst, not knowing what those intentions are," Ernst told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace.
What is happening at Ukraine's border? Putin's buildup of Russian troops sparks concern
A previous build-up of Russian forces on the border preceded Moscow's annexation of Crimea. President Vladimir Putin is threatening Ukraine again.Ukraine has been on edge in recent weeks amid a fresh build-up of Russian troops on the nation's eastern border, near where Moscow and Kyiv have been enmeshed in a simmering conflict for the last seven years that's killed more than 14,000 people.
"I do think that President Biden needs to be very clear, and very strong and his message to Vladimir Putin," Ernst added, saying she believes President Biden should tell Putin that he will not permit the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to be completed.
Earlier this year, Biden said he would not call for the pipeline to be blocked, saying that it would damage relationships with key European allies.
According to Ernst, there are many U.S. senators who are prepared to move against the pipeline.
"I certainly can't speak for the House, Chris, but I do believe that there is a coalescence around these types of actions in the United States Senate. Democrats are concerned, Republicans are concerned and what we don't want to do is allow President Putin to continue with the pipeline, especially as he is preparing, perhaps, to invade Ukraine," said Ernst.
Why Russia is stoking border tensions with Ukraine
The Kremlin is sending the West a message, but how big a risk is there of conflict?But whatever they agreed about Ukraine at their summit, something has since gone awry.
"So we do have to push back on that and I think that there is a large group of United States Senators that will push back on Vladimir Putin," she added.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.) appeared to echo some of Ernst's sentiments while appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," though he expressed hope that the upcoming virtual meeting between Biden and Putin will be "fruitful."
"It's up to us in the Congress to make clear that we are going to be diplomatic, political and military partners with Ukraine. We are going to provide them with increased military systems so that they can defend themselves. And I hope that we take steps in Congress in the next week to make that clear," said Murphy.
Talks on Ukraine would pose challenge of their own for Biden .
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said this week the U.S. would take a more direct role in diplomacy to address Vladimir Putin's concerns over Ukraine and Europe at large, part of a broader effort to dissuade the Russian leader from ordering a destabilizing new invasion of Ukraine. But any negotiations to peacefully resolve Europe’s tangled East-West rivalries will present minefields all their own for the U.S. president. AdministrationBut any negotiations to peacefully resolve Europe’s tangled East-West rivalries will present minefields all their own for the U.S. president.