SAN DIEGO — San Diego’s congressional representatives Thursday condemned the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine and called on the U.S. to stand with the eastern European nation in the midst of a crisis being felt around the globe.
In a news conference Thursday near the USS Midway Museum, Rep. Juan Vargas demanded the U.S. impose “stricter, more devastating sanctions against Russia and Belarus.” Vargas a Democrat, represents the 51st Congressional District and serves as a member of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.
He last visited Ukraine in September for the National Prayer Breakfast.
“I was able to speak there to the Rada, their parliament,” Vargas said. “I was able to speak to the chairman of the parliament. I let him know that what we saw was a build-up of Russian troops around Ukraine and that we thought it was more than just simply in the Crimea and Donbass area, that they were preparing for something larger.”
“They didn’t believe it,” Vargas continued. “They thought the Russians wouldn’t do something like that, but unfortunately, they were wrong.”
Rep. Sara Jacobs, a Democrat representing the 53rd Congressional District, called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine an “unjustified attack” that she argues will have “devastating and deadly consequences for the Ukrainian people and widespread consequences for the European continent.”
Jacobs said she was grateful for the Biden administration’s efforts to prioritize diplomacy, which she said is paired best with “clear costs and consequences.”
“This is one of the most biggest and most severe sanctions packages that have ever been crafted,” Jacobs told FOX 5 on Thursday. “These are severe sanctions. They will hurt President Putin. They will hurt the people around him. They will hurt the Russian economy. They will also hurt the Russian military’s ability to actually maintain itself and conduct these operations.”
At the other end of the spectrum. Rep. Darrell Issa of the 50th Congressional District laid part of the blame at the feet of the Biden administration, which he said in a statement has “manifestly failed to bolster a coalition of allies and partners to keep and secure the peace.”
Speaking to FOX 5 Thursday, Issa, a Republican, criticized the efforts to foster diplomacy with a hostile leader like Putin.
“Today, the Soviet Union is being cobbled back together by this dictator, exactly as he told us on television he was going to do,” Issa said. “The problem is diplomacy doesn’t work against this kind of tyrant. Diplomacy didn’t work against Hitler or Mussolini or plenty of other dictators throughout time.”