Former Governor Rick Perry Issues Statement on Ukraine and Russia

AP Photo/Eric Gay
AP Photo/Eric Gay

In response to Russia’s increasing military belligerence in Ukraine and threats to expand to other parts of Europe, former Texas Governor Rick Perry has released a video with his take on America’s foreign policy toward Ukraine and what actions the government should take.

“Last week we witnessed the fierce urgency of Western leaders shuttling to Minsk in an attempt to get Vladimir Putin to sign a piece of paper saying he would not continue his aggression against Ukraine,” he said. “But with the latest violence by Russian backed separatists in the eastern Ukraine, President Putin has again demonstrated his insincerity as a negotiating partner and his willingness to use diplomatic engagement as a pretext for extended military conquest.”

This second Minsk agreement went into effect on February 15, but the Russian soldiers and pro-Russian separatists nearly immediately broke it. Ukrainian officials announced that more Russian soldiers and equipment crossed the border during the week.

“President Putin’s aggression in Ukraine has cost the lives of thousands of Ukrainian citizens and it’s dangerously destabilizing for all of central and eastern Europe,” Perry continued. “Administrations of both parties have badly miscalculated the intentions of Vladimir Putin in the Russian state over the last decade and a half. The latest developments underscore the urgent need for the US and the EU to develop a strategy to deal with the realities of the Russian state under Vladimir Putin.”

Almost 6,000 people are dead due to the war in east Ukraine. Tens of thousands more are displaced and those who stay spend days in bomb shelters. People are left without food, water, and electricity. Lithuania, a member of the EU and NATO, is one of the very few outspoken allies and sends humanitarian and military aid.

“NATO was created to stop Russia and President Reagan showed that with American leadership NATO works,” explained Perry.

Perry then listed the action American should take immediately:

Provide lethal aid to the Ukrainians so they can defend themselves.

Increase sanctions, including reconsidering Russia’s continued access to the SWIFT international banking system.

Fast track permits for LNG export facilities on the East Coast to flood the European market with American natural gas.

Lead the debate in NATO to allow a permanent deployment of U.S. and NATO allies to Poland and the Baltics to protect our allies and assets in the area, including U.S. bomber wings in the Baltic republics and permanent U.S. Army forces in Poland.

Conduct port visits by the U.S. Navy in the Baltics.

The United States Senate is already applying pressure on President Obama to send weapons to the Ukrainian army. Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the ranking member on the Senate Armed Service Committee, said the US cannot send troops, but can send weapons to defeat Russian soldiers.

NATO member Poland, a country ripped apart by the Nazis and Soviet Union in the 20th century, also recently announced that they will invest over $42 billion on military equipment and training. The government no longer believes “peace in Europe is a given.” Warsaw admits the crisis in Ukraine is the reason why the country needs to boost their defenses.

“The United States needs to get back in the game,” concluded Perry. “The administrations actions have put us on the sidelines. We need to lead our allies. This is Russia we’re talking about. We have to stop telling President Putin what we won’t do and telegraphing our limitations. President Obama always thinks through the consequences of action and he never considers the consequences of inaction. The peace and security of the world is at stake. And the consequences of inaction are too great to be ignored.”