VIDEO RELEASE: Senator Carper Statement on President Zelenskyy’s Virtual Address to Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness, today reacted to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s virtual address to Congress in a recorded statement:

“Earlier this morning, I joined almost all members of Congress to hear a virtual address from Ukrainian President Zelenskyy. Under attack in his native capital city of Kyiv, he carried the message of the Ukrainian people—both word of the unprovoked atrocities being committed in Ukraine by President Putin, and desperate Ukrainian pleas for help. Every lawmaker in that room—and every American watching from home—could feel the urgency in his words.

“But more than that, I was moved by the images he brought with him by video: the image of a people suddenly under siege in cities being devastated that not a month before knew peace. Today, we all saw with our own eyes the images of a Russian assailant unleashing an unjust, unprovoked furor on a peaceful, independent, and democratic people. 

“We saw children attacked, crumbling civilian buildings with innocent families targeted. We saw neighbors huddled in homes surrounded by sounds of bomb sirens, awaiting once-promised cease fires on which the Russian military reneged. We saw pregnant mothers brutalized, carried out of bombed maternity wards through the smoking rubble of an unjust war.  What in God’s name could an apartment building or a maternity ward have to do with the Russian military’s already unjust military aims? We saw a new European landscape of carnage not known in half a century, all because of the bloodthirsty ego of a megalomaniac: Vladimir Putin.

“I eagerly await for the Biden Administration to finish conducting their own investigation into war crimes on the part of Vladimir Putin and his Russian invasion. But I can tell you what I’ve seen today: families murdered, civilian areas targeted, hospitals deliberately destroyed: those are war crimes. And the eyes of history won’t look kindly on Vladimir Putin’s sins—as the Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN said: ‘There is no purgatory for war criminals. They go straight to hell.’

“The question for us now is: what can we do to help the Ukrainian people hold strong? On top of all that we have done, what more can we do to punish President Putin for his actions? With valid concerns regarding a no-fly zone over Ukraine, we have been providing hundreds of Stinger anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine – and we can do more to provide these types of defensive weapons to help defend their skies. But we should continue to keep all options on the table in order to help the Ukrainian people defend their freedom.

“And, we should be doing everything possible economically — including ending normalized trade relations with Russia, and ramping up economic sanctions – to hit Putin and his oligarch cronies where it hurts. Even more importantly, we need to send a message to the Russian people. They need to know the atrocities being committed by their leader, who predicated a war against a sovereign country—with a shared heritage—on the basis of lies.

“We must make President Putin pay a price for his mass murder, as we continue to will fight to protect President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people. The United States stands with the people of Ukraine, and may God keep them safe.”

To view Senator Carper’s full remarks, click here.