U.S. Senate passes resolution condemning Russian aggression against Ukraine
The Senate cleared by unanimous consent a non-binding resolution Thursday night condemning Russia's "provocative actions" against Ukraine, after Moscow seized three of the country's naval boats.
The Senate cleared the resolution as it wrapped up its business for the week.
Senator Ron Johnson said Russian President Vladimir Putin is "testing the West," and that he was "pleased the Senate spoke with one voice to reaffirm our support for the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian government and Ukraine’s territorial integrity," according to The Hill.
“Today, the Senate took action and sent a clear message to Putin that his government’s aggression against Ukraine in the Sea of Azov will not be tolerated. We strongly condemn any military action taken by Russia to unilaterally rewrite international rules,” Murphy added.
The resolution "strongly condemns" Russia's actions and urges the country to release crew members. It also warns Russia that the confrontation off the coast of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula is "destabilizing" the region and "invites further escalation."
The Senate "urges members of the international community to unite in opposition to the actions of the Government of the Russian Federation in the Kerch Strait, as they infringe upon fundamental principles of international law affecting all nations," the Senate-passed resolution adds.
The passage of the resolution comes as Russia's seizure of the boats is posing a new test for Trump, who has caused heartburn on Capitol Hill for his warmer rhetoric toward Putin.
Ukraine is accusing Russia capturing three vessels and 24 crewmembers off the coast of Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014 to international condemnation. Moscow's position on the incident is that the Ukrainian boats were operating "unlawfully" in "its territorial waters."
Trump said on Thursday he was canceling a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled to take place during the upcoming summit for the Group of 20 industrialized nations in Argentina, citing the current Ukraine crisis.