U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) said the United States needs to be “unified … and resolute” when it comes to addressing Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
And Young was largely complimentary of the Biden administration’s steps in response to the most recent Russian moves.
President Joe Biden announced sanctions targeting Russia’s ability to do business with the West after Russian leader Vladimir Putin declared two Ukrainian regions as independent and ordered in troops as “peacekeepers.”
Young said those sanctions – and the threat of more, if Russia goes further – are the right move. And he said any American military action should be limited to countries that border Ukraine.
“Our existing NATO allies, in order to deter any encroachment on their territory,” Young said.
Young said the reason Americans should care about Russia's actions against Ukraine is that if Putin goes unchecked, it will empower other "dictators or oppressive regimes" to do the same. He specifically cited concerns about China making a move against Taiwan, an important U.S. economic partner.
Asked about former President Donald Trump’s comments praising Putin, Young did not directly rebuke Trump but seemed to disagree with his remarks.
“All of us need to be clear that Vladimir Putin is a threat to the democratic, rules-based order that has benefitted countless Americans,” Young said.
The Hoosier senator also said he believed Russia's moves toward Ukraine were a reaction by Putin to missteps by Biden in both foreign and domestic policy. He cited a lack of cooperation with U.S. allies in its exit from Afghanistan and the Biden administration not pursing "center-left" policies as examples.
Young also stressed the need for a firmer response from France and Germany to Russia’s actions.