SEATTLE, WA – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today released the following statement after additional Russian military forces entered the sovereign territory of Ukraine.

“Vladimir Putin has chosen to make war, rejecting diplomacy, the rule of law, and all concern for human life. Russia must immediately cease its assault on the freedom, security, and sovereign territory of Ukraine, an independent country. Putin and his accomplices must be held accountable for what has been done at their direction.

“While I agree with President Biden’s choice not to place American service members in Ukraine, what happens in Ukraine matters for Americans’ security and economic priorities. A world in which Vladimir Putin can behave aggressively and with impunity toward Russia’s neighbors is a less safe, less free, and less prosperous world. 

“For months, the United States, our allies, and our partners have warned about the possibility of a further Russian invasion. We have pursued every available diplomatic opportunity to prevent Putin’s further invasion while also providing support to the Ukrainian government and preparing to respond if Putin rejected peace and diplomacy. These facts — and not Putin’s lies — are the truth about Putin’s choice to make war with Ukraine.

“I stand with Ukraine. Vladimir Putin must end his war, and he must be held accountable. The United States remains as committed as ever to the NATO Alliance. Together with U.S. allies and partners, the United States is reinforcing our collective security, working to address the humanitarian challenges created by Putin’s war, calling upon Putin to end his violent aggression against Ukraine, and will impose even more severe consequences if he does not.”