WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, appeared on The Lead with Jake Tapper on CNN to discuss the latest developments regarding Russia’s aggressive behavior toward Ukraine. Wicker championed Ukraine’s right to self-defense and urged President Biden to pursue a more muscular tack in his policies toward Russia.
“We always have to try diplomacy. But I do think now is the time to actually show that we're going to try to provide the weaponry to the Ukrainians to actually defend themselves,” Wicker said.
The Mississippi senator also discussed his recent visit to Ukraine where he met with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy with a bipartisan delegation of Senators. The delegation affirmed Ukraine’s right to sovereignty and self-defense.
“Our strong message of our delegation this weekend is that none of that is acceptable,” Wicker said of Putin’s aggression. “And on a bipartisan basis, the Senate of the United States backs the ability of this little country to make their own determination as to whether to be a free, market oriented, Western looking country, or to be closer to the old Soviet Union. They have that right. And I think at least we gave a bipartisan message of support from the Senate this weekend.”
Wicker also critiqued President Biden’s recent responses to Russia, arguing that the President should take a tougher approach that would punish Vladimir Putin for his aggression.
“I think where the President makes mistakes is when he publicly takes things off the table,” Wicker said. “It has been our policy since President Eisenhower … not to rule things out. I think our response should be you will regret this,” Wicker said. “Vladimir Putin is the neighborhood bully, and he's never gotten a bloody nose from anything he's ever done - the assassinations, the poisonings, the invasion of his neighbors. I do think the people of Ukraine this time will resist whatever happens, and it would be a mistake that Putin would regret for a long, long time.”
Watch the Senator’s full interview with Jake Tapper here. Read the Senator’s latest op-ed about Ukraine defense here. Learn more about Senator Wicker’s visit to Ukraine here, and read more about his most recent legislative effort to arm Ukraine against Russia here.