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Pelosi says Putin is prepared to invade Ukraine but hopes sanctions deter him and ‘diplomacy works’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared on ABC News ‘This Week’.

ABC News

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she believes Russia is prepared to invade Ukraine.
  • Pelosi touted US sanctions as Biden’s solution, emphasizing “diplomacy” and “deterrence.”
  • The White House last week warned Russia could invade before the Winter Olympics conclude.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said she believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was prepared to invade Ukraine, but said she hoped sanctions imposed by the US would deter him. 

“I do believe that he is prepared for an invasion,” Pelosi said. “If we were not threatening the sanctions and the rest, it would guarantee that Putin would invade. Let’s hope that diplomacy works.”

Pelosi, a California Democrat, made the comments during an appearance on ABC News “This Week” on Sunday. 

President Joe Biden spoke with Putin over the phone on Saturday, warning him of “swift and severe costs” if Russia invaded Ukraine.

Russia has more than 100,000 troops stationed at the Ukrainian border, and the White House has warned that there is a “credible prospect” of a Russian invasion in the next week before the conclusion of the ongoing Winter Olympics.

—This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 13, 2022


Pelosi said on Sunday she understood Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has urged against panicking, wanted to keep “people calm and that he wants his economy not to suffer.”

The House speaker said the US strategy was about “diplomacy” and “deterrence,” adding that Biden has “made it very clear there’s a big price to pay” if Russia invades Ukraine. 

“So if Russia doesn’t invade, it’s not that he never intended to. It’s just that the sanctions worked,” Pelosi said.

US allies in NATO have “come to an agreement as to the severity of the sanctions” and said they all “fully” support the sanctions, Pelosi said.

“That is something that Putin should pay very close attention to,” she said. “The fact is that we think that an assault on Ukraine is an assault on democracy. We understand that the loss of life, the damage, the collateral damage to the military civilians, and the rest are severe if he decides to invade.” 

“The mothers in Russia don’t like their children going into war,” Pelosi added. “(Putin) has to know that war is not an answer. There are very severe consequences to his aggression, and that we are united in using them.”

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