Today on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley, Senator Robert Menendez spoke to Candy about Russia’s presence in the Ukraine and the proper response to President Putin. Text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.
Senator Menendez on Russia’s presence in the Ukraine: “Thousands of Russian troops are here with tanks, missiles, heavy artillery, and are directly engaged in what is clearly an invasion.”
Senator Menendez on aiding the Ukrainians: “We should be providing the Ukrainians with the type of defensive weapons that will impose a cost upon Putin for further aggression.”
A full transcript is available after the jump.
THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CROWLEY: Joining me now from Kiev is Senator Robert Menendez. He’s chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, obviously on a fact-finding mission in Ukraine. Senator, first, thank you for joining us.
And, second, just flat out, are Russian forces in Ukraine directly engaging Ukrainian forces?
MENENDEZ: Yes, this is a watershed moment, Candy.
Thousands of Russian troops are here with tanks, missiles, heavy artillery, and are directly engaged in what is clearly an invasion.
CROWLEY: So, it is a watershed moment. And I – just to review the bidding for our audience, we started out with some travel bans on individuals, freezing assets on some – some of the elite in Russia, kind of moved to companies and some sanctions there. Then we went to sectors of the economy.
We now have a Russian economy that looks like it’s headed towards a recession and a Putin who is more popular than ever. Nothing has moved him. What’s the next step?