US senator raised the idea of deploying US troops to Ukraine
“The American people cannot turn their backs on this tragedy in Ukraine,” Coons said in an interview with CBS News on April 17. “I think the history of the 21st century will revolve around how we defend Ukraine and that Russian President Vladimir Putin stops only when we stop him.”
Asked by host Margaret Brennan about his recent comments urging US leaders to discuss troop deployments to Ukraine, Mr. Coons said policymakers needed to consider “the level of rigidity.” snake” of Russian forces.
He said that President Biden was right to unite Western allies to impose sanctions on Russia, but he also added that “stronger” actions were needed in the context of the crisis. Russian President Putin may want to escalate the conflict.
“Without NATO, without Western support, then I really don’t know what will happen next. Maybe we will see Ukraine turn into Syria,” Mr. Coons said. He wanted to emphasize that the US and NATO need stronger aid to Ukraine, not just dealing with Mr. Putin.
Mr. Coons worked as an intern in Mr. Biden’s Senate office in the 1990s and was elected to the Senate seat in 2010. He was described by the New York Times as “Biden’s eyes and ears in the Senate”. The media called him the “shadow secretary of state” after the White House sent him on a diplomatic mission to Ethiopia in 2021.
Like President Biden, Mr. Coons has previously spoken out against sending US forces to Ukraine. He rarely contradicts Mr. Biden’s position, so the change in his words raises concerns about the US President’s upcoming decision.
The senator’s latest comments come three days after he said the Biden administration and US lawmakers needed to discuss deploying troops to Ukraine. Speaking at an event at the University of Michigan, he argued that without direct military involvement, “Russia is more likely to escalate the conflict in Ukraine.”
Coons added that “powers around the world” – from North Korea to Iran to China – are closely monitoring the US and NATO response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. He also called the crisis “the 1939 moment”, apparently referring to Nazi activities in Europe at the time.
Mr. Coons said: “At some point, we will have to face the reality that President Putin may be willing to escalate the conflict, and we must act quickly. Syria of Eastern Europe, I think that would be a historic failure.”
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