United States Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) appeared to reinforce his belief that America should consider sending U.S. troops to Ukraine to assist in the fight against Russia, arguing that Russian President Vladimir Putin will “only stop when we stop him.” Coons also claimed that the situation had the potential to escalate even further.
Coons joined CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday where he told host Margaret Brennan that Russia’s war in Ukraine will continue, and that the American people must remain focused on the situation and “defend freedom” in the Eastern European nation.
During the interview, Brennan noted that Coons recently “said the country needs to talk about when it might be willing to send troops to Ukraine,” referring to comments made by the Delaware senator last week at the University of Michigan. Those comments can be read in part here:
“We are in a very dangerous moment where it is important that on a bipartisan and measured way we in Congress and the administration come to a common position about when we are willing to go the next step and to send not just arms but troops to the aid in defense of Ukraine,” said Coons. “If the answer is never then we are inviting another level of escalation in brutality by Putin.”
Brennan asked Coons if President Joe Biden was wrong to not send troops. Coons did not answer that question directly, but did argue that the U.S. would be creating the atmosphere for even more escalation if the U.S. turns its back on the war.
“If Vladimir Putin, who has shown us how brutal he can be, is allowed to just continue to massacre civilians, to commit war crimes throughout Ukraine without NATO, without the West coming more forcefully to his aid, I deeply worry that what’s going to happen next is that we will see Ukraine turn into Syria,” Coons argued.
“The American people cannot turn away from this tragedy in Ukraine. I think the history of the 21st century turns on how fiercely we defend freedom in Ukraine,” he added.
His comments can be seen here:
“I deeply worry that what’s going to happen next is that we will see Ukraine turn into Syria,” Sen. Chris Coons tells @margbrennan while urging Americans not to turn away from the war in Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/MGmVvJyZqD
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) April 17, 2022
Coons’ comments come as Ukrainian leaders warn that Russia could escalate the violence in the region in the coming weeks and days.
Earlier on Sunday, The Daily Wire reported that “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told CNN anchor Jake Tapper, during an interview that aired Easter Sunday on ‘State of the Union,’ that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was fully capable of resorting to nuclear war — and more importantly, that he was willing to do so.”
“Now that there will be a full-scale invasion and killing of civilians, nobody expected them to invade the areas where there’s no military equipment and just kill and shoot dead a civilian population. Nobody expected that,” Zelensky continued through the translator.
“But this is a fact, and it happened, and that is when Russia gives information and says, if something goes not according to plan, they can use chemical weapons and their nuclear potential,” he continued. “And that is why I believe these are dangerous claims of untrustworthy people. If we believe some of them are already untrustworthy, then they can use nuclear weapons.”
His comments can be seen here:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr @ZelenskyyUa tells CNN’s @jaketapper in an exclusive interview in Kyiv that the world should be prepared for the possibility that Vladimir Putin could use nuclear weapons. #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/v97X4Wqh7m
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) April 17, 2022
A partial transcript of Coons’ interview with Sullivan can be read here:
MARGARET BRENNAN: In some public remarks this week, you said the country needs to talk about when it might be willing to send troops to Ukraine. You said if the answer is never, then we are inviting another level of escalation and brutality by Putin. Are you arguing that President Biden–
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Margaret–
MARGARET BRENNAN: –was wrong when he said he would not send troops to Ukraine? Are you asking him to set a red line?
SENATOR CHRIS COONS: Margaret, I think those of us in Congress who have a critical role in setting foreign policy and in advising the president in terms of his decisions as commander in chief, need to look clearly at the level of brutality. This is a moment of enormous challenge for all of us. And I deeply respect President Biden’s leadership in pulling together the West and imposing crushing sanctions on Russia. And in bringing to this fight countries that had stayed on the sidelines before. I think President Biden’s leadership has been steady and constructive. But this is a critical moment. If Vladimir Putin, who has shown us how brutal he can be, is allowed to just continue to massacre civilians, to commit war crimes throughout Ukraine without NATO, without the West coming more forcefully to his aid, I great- I deeply worry that what’s going to happen next is that we will see Ukraine turn into Syria. The American people cannot turn away from this tragedy in Ukraine. I think the history of the 21st century turns on how fiercely we defend freedom in Ukraine and that Putin will only stop when we stop him. I’ll close with this, Margaret. This is a weekend when so many families gather to celebrate the very best in the human spirit and where we grieve the loss of many due to COVID, we should also be prayerful and mindful of those who are fighting for freedom in Ukraine and how much their heroism and patriotism inspires the rest of us.