WASHINGTON, DC – After President Trump once again failed to stand up to Vladimir Putin, this time in the face of the Russian seizure of three Ukrainian ships and twenty-four crew members near Crimea, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:
“There is a disturbing pattern of Putin taking aggressive action and violating international law and President Trump turning a blind eye. This aggressive action by Russian naval forces is a clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and is completely unacceptable.
“President Trump’s unwillingness to criticize Putin or take any actions to effectively deter Russia’s provocative behavior has emboldened Russia, and it is harming our national security and that of our allies and partners.
“Instead of giving Putin a free pass, President Trump should announce new sanctions against Russia, call for the immediate return of Ukrainian vessels and crewmen, and call off any planned meetings with Vladimir Putin at the upcoming G-20 summit.
“The President, standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies and partners, must call on Russia to take steps to reduce tensions and restore freedom of passage through the Kerch Strait.”