U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) went to the floor of the U.S. Senate on Monday to discuss the escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

“Putin rejects Western ideals. He toys with sovereign nations,” Tuberville said. “And he plays by an entirely different set of rules – his own. And when President Biden signals that our words are hollow or that we will disregard our allies, our adversaries – like Putin – take notice.

“Putin’s goal is to deter Ukraine from joining NATO. He wants their pro-democracy government to collapse, Ukrainians to abandon their resolve, [and] to take over the country that largely despises him. He wants a buffer between him and the West. And he wants the United States to step aside and let him do this.

"To be clear, we do not want American bloodshed in Ukraine. But neither do the Ukrainians. Late last year, I traveled to Ukraine with several other members of Congress to meet with President Zelensky. The Ukrainian President told me: (that) Ukrainians don’t want American boots on the ground. Ukrainians are willing and ready to fight their own fight. All they ask for is support. Not blankets and helmets. But small arms, anti-tank missiles, and other weapons.”

Intelligence reports have surfaced suggesting that Russian tanks could cross the border into Ukraine as early as Wednesday. The embattled President of Ukraine has declared Wednesday to be a National Day of Unity. The Biden administration has ordered elements of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division to Poland and evacuated the last remaining diplomats from Kyiv on Monday. Frustrated Republicans accuse Biden of mishandling this crisis and by appearing weak after the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“When Russia was amassing troops along the Ukraine border, President Biden was giving a blistering speech about voting rights – saying that everyone who disagrees with him wants to destroy our country,” Tuberville said. “Instead of studying war plans on Afghanistan or addressing the growing threats from Russia and China, our service members were forced to spend hours upon hours on ‘woke’ training – not on readiness. … But the missed opportunities don’t stop at the administration. The Senate already missed a chance to hit Putin where it hurts. A few weeks ago, Senate Republicans voted in support of sanctions on Russia’s pipeline through Europe – the Nord Stream 2. Senate Democrats refused to support these sanctions. Who are they more afraid of, President Biden or Putin?”

Tuberville is calling for sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.

“Aggression must be met with resolve,” Tuberville said. “We need to bring the full might of sanctions and squeeze Russia’s economy so tightly it chokes Putin’s wealth. This includes sanctions on Nord Stream 2 and actions like delisting Russian companies in our capital markets ...“

Tuberville also called for making the nation more ready in case war with Russia or China becomes inevitable.

“We need to get back to what makes our country so great in the first place,” Tuberville said. “That means we make the necessary investments to modernize our military. The highest possible percentage of money we spend at the Department of Defense should go to building a killing machine.”

Tuberville said that includes addressing the problems in the American economy.

“We have to get our fiscal house in order," Tuberville said. “Inflation has engulfed our economy. Families face bare grocery shelves and gas that is more in some places than $5 a gallon. Our national debt just crested $30 trillion dollars, amounting to almost $100,000 per citizen … We need to return [to] free-market enterprise with less government intervention. We have to return to championing that spirit of American resolve and determination – in all facets of life. The strength of our nation depends on it. The future of our nation depends on it. After this dark year marked by uncertainty, Americans are ready to return to the path of American independence. Americans across the country want to reignite the American dream and rekindle American ingenuity.”

Tuberville said that America is not weak.

Watch Tuberville’s speech here.

Russia is the number two oil exporter in the world, thus crippling oil sanctions against Russia could potentially lead to oil prices as high as $150 a barrel (oil passed $90 a barrel last week) which would lead to runaway inflation as energy costs contribute to the costs of almost every other good and service.

Tuberville is in his first term in the Senate.

To connect with the author of this story, email Brandon.Moseley@1819News.com