WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., ranking member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today addressed the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly about Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Senator warned that tens of thousands of Europeans’ lives “hang in the balance” because of Vladimir Putin’s choice to start a war with Ukraine. Wicker rallied the “free world” to support Ukraine and noted that he would be calling on President Joseph R. Biden and Congress to bolster U.S. and NATO security.
Read the Senator’s full remarks below:
My colleagues, Europe is at war at this very moment. The lives of tens of thousands of young Europeans hang in the balance at this very moment because of the delusional dictatorship currently in control in Russia and because of his brazen attack. The free world deserves better than this modern-day Adolf Hitler. If Vladimir Putin’s recent words and deeds have a haunting familiarity, it is because they are directly out of the Nazi madman's notebook.
I mean no offense to the Russian delegates to this assembly. In effect, they have no alternative but to parrot the Putin line. If they took a position to the contrary, they would upon returning to Moscow meet a fate similar to those of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Boris Nemtsov, Sergei Magnitski, and Alexey Navalny.
I join the virtual unanimous denunciation by my OSCE colleagues of this outrage, of this trampling of seven decades of a rules-based world order. But I must use the few seconds I have today to sound a warning to the defensive military alliance to which most of us belong.
If Vladimir Putin succeeds in Ukraine, he will not stop there – just as he did not stop with Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Crimea, and the Donbass. How can any of us realistically believe he will stop with Ukraine? According to Putin’s twisted rationale, every former republic of the USSR is at risk. NATO is at risk. Every member of the peace-loving international community is at risk of being swept up into this conflict.
And, my colleagues, we are not ready. Our collective military capability is not sufficient to deter the aggression that the Russian dictator is likely to pursue. I will in the coming hours and days try to persuade my President Biden, and the House and Senate, to pass a supplemental national security spending bill immediately. I give the same warning to NATO. It is time for my government and the governments of all nations to rethink our priorities, and reorder the military capability of our alliance. Thank you.