After a delegation from Congress made up exclusively of Republicans spent America’s birthday in Moscow, meeting with top Russian leaders including foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, several of them came back acting as if Russia was our closest ally. Russian state media even celebrated the occasion while mentioning that it was the first time since their annexation of Crimea that American lawmakers had visited the guilty nation. When Senator Ron Johnson returned from the trip he downplayed Russia’s interference with our elections, saying “these are not the greatest threats to our democracy.”
Fortunately for America, apparently not all Republicans agree with that sentiment. With the upcoming meeting between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin less than a week away, a bipartisan group in Congress is looking to reaffirm that Russia is still an adversary, and that Trump cannot simply give Putin everything he demands. Congress is voicing its support for the sanctions against Russia following the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The Senate resolution also asks the Trump administration to “cement a policy of not recognizing the 2014 land grab.”
Ohio Senator Rob Portman made his stance clear, stating “The United States continues to stand with Ukraine against Russian aggression. Crimea was illegally seized from Ukraine by Russia, and the United States must never recognize this illegitimate occupation.” Co-sponsoring the resolution were Senators Marco Rubio, Dick Durbin, Pat Toomey, Chris Coons, Johnny Isakson, Ed Markey, Ben Cardin, and Sherrod Brown.
Taking another jab at Trump, the Senate overwhelmingly approved a motion of support for NATO on Tuesday by a vote of 97-2. While it’s important that both sides of the aisle can come to agreement on something this important, it’s necessary to remember that the sanctions against Russia for its interference in our election were passed 98-2 in the Senate just a year ago, yet we’ve continually witnessed Republican members of Congress refusing to stand up to Trump when he pushes away our allies and befriends our enemies. At least Trump will know America has not forgotten his treason when he meets privately with Putin soon.
I’m a ceramic engineer living in Central New York, avid sports fan but find myself more interested in politics lately.