Feb 24, 2022 - Politics & Policy

McConnell: U.S. should ratchet sanctions "all the way up"

Mitch McConnell

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in remarks Thursday that the Biden administration should "ratchet the sanctions all the way up" in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

What they're saying: "We're all together at this point and we need to be together about what should be done."

  • "Ratchet the sanctions all the way up. Don't hold any back. Every single available tough sanction should be employed, and should be employed now."
  • "There's no such thing as a little invasion."
  • McConnell also criticized Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan last year, saying it helped precipitate the crisis in Ukraine by acting as a "signal" that "America is in retreat and now is a good time to make a move."

Driving the news: On Tuesday, Biden announced his "first tranche" in a series of stiff sanctions following Russia's recognition of two separatist "republics" in eastern Ukraine and decision to deploy troops there.

  • On Thursday Russian forces attacked Ukraine by land, air and sea from Russia, Belarus and Crimea.
  • Biden issued a statement Wednesday night warning of "further consequences" following Russia's announcement of the "special military operation" in Ukraine. The president is expected to announce more sanctions Thursday.

Go deeper: The latest on the Russia-Ukraine crisis

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