In shocking comments showing eagerness to confront Russia militarily, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, while attending the Munich Security Conference, threatened the Russian Federation saying, “You’re going to get what you deserve,” referencing Ukraine and Georgia joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Graham piggybacked on the recent Mueller indictments of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The issue of Ukraine joining NATO has been discussed in-depth over the last decade. Three former Soviet republics in the Baltics, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, are members of the alliance. The addition of Georgia and Ukraine under the NATO umbrella would be an aggressive step forward as the Russian Federation has fought hot wars with both nations, directly with Georgia supporting breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia, or through proxies in East Ukraine. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 by insertion of special forces; no lives were lost.
“To our friends in the Ukraine, I want it to be your decision [to join NATO] not Russia’s decision,” Graham said. It’s worth NATO allies considering that “the Ukrainians gave up a nuclear weapons arsenal, with the understanding that ‘if I do this I’m good to go.’ We signed up and everybody else did. And our friends in Russia step all over that,” Graham declared at the conference.
“The rule of law means nothing to Russia…Does it mean anything to us? I’d be glad to have a better relationship with Russia but it’s difficult. I used to worry about antagonizing Russia. I won’t worry about that anymore. You’re going to get what you deserve if you keep this up. And to our friends in Georgia and Ukraine, be patient. Hopefully the rest of us will get a backbone and push back against aggression that I feel is unwarranted.”
Ukraine pleaded for further Western assistance against Russia as well during the conference.
“My message to you is that it is in our joint interest to resist Russians attempt to break our unity and ruin our democracy throughout Europe or throughout the world…. to prove Europe is a continent of stability, peace and cooperation,” Poroschenko said. “Dear friends, these values are our greatest assets against the Russian threat,” declared Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.