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Delaware Headlines

Sen. Coons discusses U.S. response to Russia/Ukraine war, including possible troop deployment

Coons UM.jpg
University of Michigan
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Sen. Chris Coons discusses Ukraine with Michael Barr, Dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Speaking at the University of Michigan, Sen. Chris Coons discusses Ukrainian security assistance from the U.S.

“We are coming right up against a Cuban missile crisis moment in terms of a direct confrontation between NATO, the United States, the West, and Russia,” said Coons.

Coons describing the situation faced by decision makers in the U.S. and NATO on how to deal with the ongoing war and killing of tens of thousands of civilians and decimating ancient cities in Ukraine.

Coons believes there’s a chance Russia goes too far, and chemical weapons are used in Ukraine or an accident over the border where possibly Americans are hit.

It’s at that point Coons says the question of response becomes perilous, and in the U.S. it needs to be figured out between Congress and the administration.

"We are in a very dangerous moment where it is important that on a bipartisan and measured way we in Congress and the administration come to a common position about when we are willing to go the next step and to send not just arms but troops to the aid in defense of Ukraine,” said Coons. “If the answer is never then we are inviting another level of escalation in brutality by Putin."

No matter what happens, Coons says any response by the U.S. and NATO is being watched around the world.

"What is happening here is being watched by other autocrats around the world. From the DPRK in Iran to obviously the PRC and Xi Jinping's leadership of the Chinese Communist party. I think the future of the 21st century is going to be written in the next few weeks or months in how fiercely we are willing to defend freedom in Ukraine," said Coons.

The U.S. is sending another $800 million worth of weapons systems and other security assistance to Ukraine including artillery systems, rounds, armored personnel carriers and additional helicopters.