Northern Missouri Congressman Sam Graves says the financial sanctions imposed by the Biden Administration on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine have come up short.
Graves, a Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee, says it is the sanctions not imposed by President Biden that troubles him.
“He did not include the world banking system, which is a problem,” Graves tells Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph. “He did not include cutting off oil from Russia and then he slowly dribbled those things out later. All of the sanctions should have happened way before the invasion to begin with.”
Still, the sanctions seem to be taking hold, Graves acknowledges. Though Graves says even the president has admitted that it will take months before the sanctions take a real bite out of the Russian economy.
“Well, he should have been doing it a lot earlier and he certainly should have done it when he put sanctions on everything else,” Graves says. “He certainly should have cut off oil immediately and should have cut them off from the world banking system as well.”
Graves says the response by the West must be limited, since Ukraine is not a member of NATO. He does say the West should provide all the military equipment Ukraine needs to defend itself, including those Soviet-era MiG fighter jets held by Poland. Graves says he doesn’t understand why the administration blocked their transfer. Graves says the United States and its allies must stop short of sending troops or enforcing a no-fly-zone, which he says could easily result in a broadening of the conflict.
Graves says that any end game will have to concede something to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I think, ultimately, we need to give Putin some sort of an out that allows him to at least save some face and hopefully he will take that.”
Graves says Putin has run into a buzz saw in the invasion of Ukraine, with much stronger opposition than he expected.
By Brent Martin of Missourinet affiliate KFEQ in St. Joseph