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Maine's federal lawmakers call Russia sanctions a 'welcome step'

APTOPIX Ukraine Tensions
Emilio Morenatti
Commuters wait for a local train at a subway station in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. Ukraine urged its citizens to leave Russia as Europe braced for further confrontation Wednesday after Russia's leader received authorization to use military force outside his country and the West responded with a raft of sanctions.

Members of Maine's congressional delegation said Tuesday that they support President Joe Biden's decision to issue sanctions against Russia for moving troops into eastern Ukraine.

Biden described the sanctions, which hit Russia's financial system, as an initial round of punishments.

In a statement, Rep. Jared Golden of Maine's 2nd District called the sanctions "overdue" and suggested that additional ones "may be necessary to provide a strong enough deterrent to Russian aggression."

“The situation in Ukraine does not at this time pose a direct national security threat to the United States that would warrant putting American troops in harm's way, but if the people of Ukraine are willing to resist Putin’s invasion of their country, then the Biden administration should make clear that America will ensure Ukrainians have the resources they need to fight for their freedom," Golden added.

Independent Sen. Angus King described violations of Ukraine's sovereign borders as a threat to global peace and said he supports "using all diplomatic and economic tools at our disposal to deter any further aggression."

Republican Sen. Susan Collins described Russia's actions as "unprovoked" and "unacceptable."

"The time has clearly come for the United States to impose punishing sanctions on Russia," she said in a statement. "The additional sanctions announced by the Biden administration are a welcome step, but more must be done to impose real costs to Putin and to deter the escalating Russian threat against Ukraine that risks destabilizing the entire region."

Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat representing Maine's 1st District, said Biden was right to join European allies in issuing "strong sanctions" and added that Putin has created an "international crisis."