Pelosi says Putin will pay even without Ukraine invasion: you can’t ‘bully the world and take a walk’

Pelosi says Putin will pay even without Ukraine invasion: you can’t ‘bully the world and take a walk’


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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., warned Russian President Vladimir Putin from the Munich Security Conference Saturday that he will face consequences whether or not he invades Ukraine.

“There’s a price to pay for what Putin has put us through now,” she told reporters during a press conference in Germany. “This isn’t bully the world and then take a walk, and you’re off the hook.”

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, speaks during a news conference.
(Craig Hudson/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Pelosi said that even if Russia doesn’t face steep sanctions by choosing not to invade Kyiv, Congress may look to secure its own response regarding the Kremlin’s aggressive behavior over the last several months.

The speaker, along with House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., said that Russia can expect “brutal” sanctions if it violates Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Roughly 40 Republican and Democratic members of Congress joined the weekend’s events in Munich to show their solidarity with NATO and Ukraine. 

“We want to remove all doubt in anyone’s mind – including the president of Russia – that the U.S. is here, fully committed in a unified way to work with our European allies and the interest of diplomacy,” Pelosi said. “Diplomacy is still alive in all of this.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a video conference to address participants in a congress of the United Russia party marking the 20th anniversary of the party founding, in Moscow, Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a video conference to address participants in a congress of the United Russia party marking the 20th anniversary of the party founding, in Moscow, Russia.
((Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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U.S. and NATO security officials have been sounding the alarm that Putin could look to invade Ukraine in the coming days – a belief shared by President Biden who said he is “convinced” that Putin has already decided to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty.  

“Putin’s assault on the Ukraine is an assault on democracy,” Pelosi told reporters. “We all have to know that and respond in ways that are effective, appropriate and in some cases – not speaking human-wise but technology-wise – deadly.”

Schiff echoed the speaker’s comments and said, “The rest of the world is watching us.”

“If we don’t act in unison to bring about the toughest sanctions that have ever been deployed then other nations will feel free to subjugate their democratic neighbors,” he added. 

Members of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces participate in a drill during training at a former asphalt factory on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. The U.S. has ramped up warnings of a possible Russian attack on Ukraine, Russian officials said no invasion of Ukraine was underway and none was planned.

Members of Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces participate in a drill during training at a former asphalt factory on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. The U.S. has ramped up warnings of a possible Russian attack on Ukraine, Russian officials said no invasion of Ukraine was underway and none was planned.
(Ethan Swope/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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The U.S. lawmakers championed the speed at which the NATO alliance responded in unison to Putin’s threat against Ukraine. 

“The door to diplomacy remains open and will be open until and unless Putin slams it shut,” Schiff said. “If Putin invades, the casualties could be enormous. 

“That loss of life will be entirely Putin’s responsibility,” he continued. “It is the success of Ukrainian democracy that unnerves the Kremlin and is the success of democracy everywhere that is also at risk. In that sense, Ukraine’s struggle is all of our struggle, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine.”

The lawmaker’s comments came just hours after Vice President Kamala Harris promised that sanctions against Russia would be “swift and severe” if Putin advances his troops across Ukraine’s borders. 



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