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Former President Donald Trump has issued a statement regarding the deteriorating security situation between Russia and Ukraine, explaining why he doesn’t believe President Vladimir Putin would have sent forces into the neighboring country if he had won reelection.
“If properly handled, there was absolutely no reason that the situation currently happening in Ukraine should have happened at all,” Trump said Tuesday following reports that thousands of Russian forces acting as “peacekeepers” entered eastern Ukraine after Putin officially recognized to breakaway regions as new ‘republics.’
“If properly handled, there was absolutely no reason that the situation currently happening in Ukraine should have happened at all,” Trump continued, going on to lash out at President Joe Biden’s “weak sanctions.”
“The weak sanctions are insignificant relative to taking over a country and a massive piece of strategically located land. Now it has begun, oil prices are going higher and higher, and Putin is not only getting what he always wanted, but getting, because of the oil and gas surge, richer and richer,” the former president said.
By 2 p.m. EDT, oil prices had risen to nearly $98 a barrel on their way to top $100 following Russia’s actions. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost more than 500 points, while the NASDAQ was off more than 225 points.
Gas prices in the U.S. had already skyrocketed to eight-year highs and are likely to climb even higher now.
The Daily Mail adds:
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are calling on President Biden to get tough with sanctioning Russia after it moved troops into eastern Ukraine.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday sent troops into the pro-Russian regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as he declared those regions independent republics and no longer a part of Ukraine.
Biden imposed some new sanctions on Monday prohibiting trade with the Kremlin-backed regions, but administration officials initially refused to call Putin’s move an ‘invasion.’ The Biden administration has insisted that it uses sanctions as leverage and is trying to stave off a full-blown invasion.
However on Tuesday, the administration admitted that Putin’s move constitutes an ‘invasion,’ the red line Biden said would result in severe sanctions on Moscow.
Biden addressed the situation in a speech Tuesday afternoon but he failed to generate much confidence that anything he planned to do would thwart Russia’s intentions.
“We think this is, yes, the beginning of an invasion, Russia’s latest invasion into Ukraine,” Jon Finer, principal deputy national security adviser, said in an interview on CNN.
“An invasion is an invasion and that is what is underway,” he added.
Other Republicans also lashed out at Biden for inaction leading up to the invasion.
“Joe Biden has refused to take meaningful action, and his weakness has emboldened Moscow,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee tweeted, demanding that Biden “immediately” impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline Russia is building to ship natural gas to Germany and other parts of Europe, though Germany itself has already moved to suspend the project.
Meanwhile, Americans’ confidence in Biden’s foreign policy has cratered as well. He “continues to garner low marks for his tenure in the Oval Office as a new poll shows Americans’ faith in his foreign policy has dropped during the Russia-Ukraine crisis,” the Daily Mail noted in a separate report.
“Only 40% of voters approved of Biden’s handling of foreign affairs, a new Gallup poll found, while a low 36% gave the president’s a thumbs up for his handling of Russia’s threat to Ukraine,” the report continued.
“The numbers track with Biden’s low marks for his handling of the economy and the COVID pandemic – all of which have contributed to his a steep decline in his overall approval rating since he took office a little more than a year ago,” it added.