- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 24, 2022

The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Thursday that the “time for diplomacy is over” following Russia’s large-scale coordinated attack on Ukraine.

Rep. Michael T. McCaul of Texas said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s long-feared invasion threatens to plunge Europe into a conflict not seen since World War II.

“We haven’t seen anything like this really since Hitler invaded Poland in World War II,” the congressman told “CBS News.” “I just hope this is not the beginning of World War III”

Mr. McCaul also warned that diplomacy will have little impact on deterring Mr. Putin at this point, and called on world leaders to take immediate and concrete action.

“The time for diplomacy is over,” he said. “Putin has decided to do a full invasion of the entire country of Ukraine. There’s a lot of speculation, but so far it is pretty clear to me that he wants the entire breadbasket of Russia back. He’s always wanted Ukraine and now he is testing the current president with his full-fledged invasion.”

Mr. McCaul called on President Biden to pass immediate sanctions amid Russia’s military buildup along its border with Russia.

Earlier this week, Mr. Biden announced a package of sanctions in response to Mr. Putin’s recognition of Moscow-backed separatist areas in eastern Ukraine and is expected to further penalize Russia following the full-scale invasion.

Mr. McCaul said the U.S. must stand firmly with Ukraine and called on lawmakers to come together in opposition to the Kremlin.

“We have to come together now, Republicans and Democrats, on a very strong sanctions package the likes of which we’ve never seen,” he said.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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