Mike Pence calls on Biden hit Russia harder, restart Keystone Pipeline: 'Putin only understands strength'

“We need to sanction the oil exports for the Russians and in the exact same moment, President Biden should authorize the Keystone XL pipeline and authorize oil and gas leases and exploration in the United States of America. Those two things in combination would send a deafening message of strength,” Pence told hosts Sandra Smith and John Roberts.

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Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday after amassing troops on the nation’s border for months and reached the capital after one day of fighting. Russian troops have reportedly met stiff resistance from Ukrainian soldiers, as the government in Kyiv calls on military-age males to stay in the country and fight.

Nearly 140 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians had died as of early Friday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address. The U.S. imposed new sanctions on Russia in response to the invasion, but Pence called for “punitive sanctions” against Russia and for the U.S. to ramp up energy production.

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“I can tell you, I have met Vladimir Putin. I looked him right in the eye. I can tell you, Putin only understands strength,” Pence said.

“Now is the time: less talk and more action. We ought to put punitive sanctions on their economy including oil exports and demonstrate our commitment to use America’s vast energy resources. And not just prayers but provide resources and material support and weapons to those extraordinary and courageous people of Ukraine that are fighting for their independence at this very hour.” 

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