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Cruz Savages Biden Admin as Putin Moves to Annex Ukrainian Territory: 'Directly Responsible'

  The long-feared Russian invasion of Ukraine appears to be underway — and Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is laying some of the blame at the feet o...

 The long-feared Russian invasion of Ukraine appears to be underway — and Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is laying some of the blame at the feet of President Joe Biden’s administration for the escalation of the crisis.

In a statement Monday night, Cruz said the administration was “directly responsible” for the crisis, arguing that the president had failed to meet commitments to Ukraine under political agreements signed in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

According to Fox News, Cruz released the statement on Monday night as the United Nations Security Council was involved in a heated debate over Putin’s recognition of two breakaway Ukrainian areas as independent states.

As The Wall Street Journal noted, Russian-backed separatists have occupied parts of eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regions since 2014, the same year Russia annexed Crimea. After recognizing them as independent states on Monday, The Associated Press reported, Putin moved troops into those regions on Tuesday.

Biden called it “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

“If Russia goes further with this invasion, we stand prepared to go further,” the president said in remarks on Tuesday.

The word “invasion” is key, the AP reported, “because it sets the stage for what Biden said could become multiple waves of economic sanctions, in coordination with NATO allies and other countries who view Putin’s aggression as a violation of international law and a threat to order in Europe.”

However, Cruz said in his Monday statement that the Ukraine action was a long time in the making — and something that could have been prevented.

While the Texas senator said Putin’s move was “just the latest step in his obsessive drive to rebuild the Soviet Union, at the expense of the national security of the United States and our allies” and that it “must be met with an immediate response,” he also noted that a response could have been made before Putin did anything.

“For months, Ukraine’s political leaders and its civil society pleaded with the United States to help them counter Russia by immediately sanctioning Nord Stream 2 and providing them with the weapons they need to defend themselves,” Cruz said, referring to the Baltic Sea pipeline that delivers natural gas from Russia to Germany.

The pipeline — which, according to the AP, isn’t yet operational — has long been a target for the GOP in general and Cruz specifically, who have argued Russia and entities involved in constructing and operating the pipeline ought to face sanctions.

Biden has disagreed, calling potential sanctions “counterproductive” last May.

Cruz added that America “committed as a nation in the Budapest Memorandum to helping ensure [Ukraine’s] sovereignty and territorial integrity, and it is gravely in our national security interests to do so. The crisis that now threatens to engulf them will also create unknowable and acute dangers for our European NATO allies, whom we are bound by treaty to help defend.”

In the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, the Brookings Institution noted, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States pledged “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine” and “to refrain from the threat or use of force” against it.

“President Biden has refused to meet these commitments, and Biden-Harris officials are to an enormous extent directly responsible for this crisis,” Cruz said, referring to the president and Vice President Kamala Harris, who was sent to a weekend conference in Germany about the crisis.

“He and his administration instead settled for an endlessly deferred and wholly uncredible strategy of responding to Putin’s aggression after an invasion,” the senator said. “They have pursued bizarre tactics like declassifying American intelligence and trying to shame Putin. That approach has failed.

“No one is calling for the United States to intervene militarily on Ukraine’s behalf, and it would be a catastrophic mistake to do so.

“Instead, the United States must impose devastating sanctions against Putin’s interests, including immediate and mandatory sanctions permanently putting an end to his Nord Stream 2 pipeline.”

At least for the moment, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has suspended the pipeline’s certification, although Cruz has warned this wouldn’t be enough.

“To have any effect on Putin’s calculus, this needs to be locked in with US sanctions on Nord Stream 2 companies,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

Good luck with that.

The Biden administration had a panoply of tools at its disposal to avert this moment. And yet, here we are.

The likelihood that it will listen to reason now on Vladimir Putin, Ukraine and Nord Stream 2 might be better, but it’s still not great — and the hour has long since passed where getting tough could have made Putin think twice.

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