Washington, DC: Today, following joint remarks from the President of the United States and German Chancellor, Andrea Merkel, at the White House, Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, released the following statement: 

“Instead of looking out for the best interest of the United States and its allies, President Obama relies on the leadership of other nations and continues to outsource his foreign policy agenda. In order to halt Putin’s ongoing effort to retake territories lost following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the President needs to form and execute a firm strategy focused on empowering Ukraine’s military and dissuading further Russian hostility in Eastern Europe,” said Turner. 

“The United States cannot continue to stand idly by and allow the deteriorating situation in Ukraine to continue. In recent weeks, there has been a groundswell of support for decisive U.S. action to provide the Ukrainian army with the defensive assistance required to confront and deter Putin’s ongoing aggression,” said Turner.  

Notably, last week a joint report from leaders of the Brookings Institution, the Atlantic Council, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs recommended that the U.S. provide lethal assistance to Ukraine and stated: 

“Some in the West are concerned that provision of military assistance, particularly of lethal arms, would cause Russia to escalate the crisis.

We vehemently disagree. Russia has already continuously escalated: seizing and annexing Crimea, encouraging and aiding separatists in eastern Ukraine, providing the separatists with heavy arms, and ultimately invading the Donbas with regular Russian army units….Enhanced military assistance would increase Kyiv’s capability to deter further Russian escalation.” 

Additionally, last week, defense secretary nominee, Ashton Carter,  stated, that he was “very much inclined in that direction” and that, “we need to support the Ukrainians in defending themselves,” including the possibility of “lethal” arms.

Over the weekend (February 6-8), Congressman Turner was one of fifteen members of Congress who attended the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany.  

Congressman Turner also serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and as President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.