Rep. Andy Harris to Newsmax: Proud to Be Sanctioned by Russia

Rep. Andy Harris to Newsmax: Proud to Be Sanctioned by Russia Rep. Andy Harris to Newsmax: Proud to Be Sanctioned by Russia U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD). (Alex Wong/Getty)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 15 April 2022 03:15 PM

Rep. Andy Harris, one of several U.S. politicians to be named in Russia's list of sanctions, told Newsmax Friday that as the son of immigrants who fled from Russia in years past, he's proud of the designation.

"This is nothing new to my family," the Maryland Republican, who co-chairs the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, said on Newsmax's "American Agenda." "My mother fled from Ukraine in front of the Russian advancement during World War II and my father fled from Hungary when the communists took over, so this is personal for me."

Harris added that the Russians' actions now in Ukraine, including the atrocities against civilians. "They're doing what they did during World War II in a lot of cities, leveling them, not caring about civilian casualties," said Harris. "It's just I thought we'd gone past this in the world, but apparently we haven't."

Meanwhile, the congressman said he believes the Biden administration took a "major step this week" when it promised Ukraine $800 million in military aid, including heavy equipment, armored personnel, and American-made artillery, but at some point, more will need to be done.

"We're just going to have to figure out a way to get aircraft to the Ukrainian Air Force, especially with the news now that the Russians are using bombers to bomb Mariupol," he said. "The only way to get around that is you have to have a surface-to-air missile, and you have to have aircraft in the air. Hopefully, we can get that to them in the future."

However, Harris said he does not agree with CIA Director William Burns' assessment that the United States can't disregard the threat that Russian President Vladimir Putin will turn to the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

"I think that this would be a move that not even Vladimir Putin is willing to take because I think his support, especially among the oligarchs, who realize that their economy will be ruined if this got escalated into the nuclear realm," said Harris. "We would have to take action against Putin and again, I think that his support would disappear in Russia if he escalated to that level. I don't think he's going to do that."

Harris also said that the United States must strengthen its resistance to Russia, but other countries must as well.

"We know that Germany, for instance, is still importing a lot of energy from Russia," said Harris. "As long as Western nations and non-Western nations import energy from Russia, we are basically funding the Ukraine war on Russia's behalf."

Real leadership also must involve sending weapons sooner than later, but the Biden administration's response has been "a week late, a dollar short," he said. "Hopefully this last round is going to pick up the pace…we should be sanctioning those countries that buy Russian energy. We can starve the Russian economy and we can starve the Russian defense force, but it will involve a complete embargo on Russian energy."

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