U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Alabama) is a strong supporter of heavier sanctions on Russia but opposes the U.S. going to war with Russia to defend Ukraine. A sanctions bill recently stalled in the Senate that Tuberville supports.

“Russia is a one-trick pony with energy and gas,” Tuberville said on social media. “Senate Democrats dropped the ball by blocking Nord Stream 2 sanctions weeks ago. We need these sanctions + additional economic sanctions.”

Tuberville meanwhile reiterated that sending American troops to the front lines in Ukraine is not something that he supports. 

“This is not our fight,” Tuberville said in an interview on Fox Business News. “This is the fight for Ukraine. They need to fight their own fight. The President [of Ukraine] even told me… ‘Coach, I don’t need people fighting for me from anywhere. We want to fight our own fight. Just give us some help.’ And that’s what we’re doing.”

The situation got much more grave on Monday,

The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to declare two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine as independent. According to multiple reports, Russian troops immediately crossed into Ukraine on Putin’s orders to “recognize” the two territories.

President Joseph R. Biden (D) has issued an executive order that bars investment, trade and financial transactions with the two regions.

The president spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky following a meeting with his national security team at the White House and discussed the situation with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The two Russian-supported pro-Russian separatist enclaves had preceded this move with days of shelling of Ukrainian positions along the disputed front lines. Now with those front lines likely to be manned by Russian troops, the two nations appear to be on the brink of a dramatic escalation of hostilities.

In 2014 Russia sent in troops and illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula and suddenly there were pro-Russian separatists revolting in Eastern Ukraine with Russian support. The international community imposed sanctions then, but that did little to make Russia stop supporting the separatist regions or pull out of the Crimea.

Putin, age 69, has been emboldened by a lack of an effective opposition domestically, a West that is heavily reliant on Russian energy resources, and the rising price of oil and natural gas that has made Putin and Russia far wealthier.

Tuberville and Republicans have blamed the President’s energy policies for contributing to the rise of Russian imperialism.

Tuberville is in his first term in the U.S. Senate.

(Original reporting by the Morning Report, Fox News, Fox Business News, the Associated Press, and New York Times contributed to this report.)

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