US Senate approves resolution for Ukraine, condemns Russian aggression
The U.S. Senate has voted overwhelmingly to express “unwavering support” for an independent Ukraine and condemn Russian military aggression toward its neighbor, the Associated Press news agency reported on Feb. 18.
The Senate resolution does not carry the force of law, but puts the U.S. legislative body on record as giving “unwavering United States support for a secure, democratic, and independent Ukraine” and “denounces the Russian military buildup” on Ukraine’s border, the agency wrote.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, stressed that “this Congress is united in its support of Ukrainian independence and sovereignty.”
The resolution encourages U.S. President Joe Biden to have the U.S. government exhaust its tools available to impose “significant costs” on Russia and “restore peace in Europe.”
The final text said the resolution was not to be construed as an authorization for the use of military force against Russia or for the introduction of U.S. armed forces in Ukraine.
Russia has been massing troops at the border since late October.
On Feb. 16, the U.S.-based CNN TV channel reported, citing a Ukrainian intelligence report, that the total number of Russian troops at the border had increased in recent days to more than 148,000, including more than 126,000 ground troops, but it is insufficient for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
While officially denying its intention to carry out a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia continues to provide arms and orders to its proxy groups in non-government controlled regions of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
On Feb. 11, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the U.S. government “continue to see very troubling signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border.”
He warned that Russia could launch an invasion at any time, including during the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized that the country is ready to defend itself against the Russian invasion, regardless of the date.
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