Texoma Congressman Mac Thornberry is working to decide what action should be taken to help Ukraine keep their independence.
Two Ukrainian military jets were shot down by Russian rebels along the eastern border of Ukraine where tensions remain high. On Wednesday, Congressman Thornberry said, he was discussing what action the U.S. could take to provide Ukraine support. As Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Thornberry spoke with a Ukraine Army General and Ukrainian Scholars about how the U.S. could help protect their country.
"It's not just about Russia and Ukraine. There are people, countries, all over the world that are watching whether we will stand up to Putin and whether we stand by our friends," said Congressman Thornberry.
Ukraine has asked that the U.S. and other countries supply basic defense needs. Congressman Thornberry said things like armor, night vision equipment and communication technology is being requested. The Congressman says, the U.S. needs to help the allies in need.
"My point is we're not talking about sophisticated weapons systems that could get into the wrong hands. We're talking about some pretty basic things," said Congressman Thornberry.
Russian President Vladimr Putin is still playing a big role in the whole incident by supplying pro Russian rebels with arms, training and money. Even though the U.S. has issued strong sanctions against the country, Thornberry said that the U.S. must send a strong message.
"If president Obama wanted to really be serious he would call out Putin for what he is. He would take action lead the Europeans in isolating Russia and he would call for increased defense spending," said Thornberry.
Many European countries rely on Ukraine to supply their energy needs. Thornberry said the U.S. needs to help export liquefied natural gas and other forms of energy so that Europe is not so dependent on Russia.