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Rep. Ruben Gallego tells CNN the U.S. must back democracies versus autocracies

Published: Monday, January 31, 2022 - 2:53pm

U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona said it’s imperative for the United States to support Ukraine as the country faces an escalating threat of invasion from Russia.

Gallego told CNN that Russia assembling an estimated 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border is likely a ploy to influence diplomatic negotiations.

“I think the assumption we have to make when we’re dealing with Russia is the worst case scenario,” Gallego said on Sunday. “And Russia likes to make avenues for diplomacy more favorable to them by threatening violence, knowing that the west does have an aversion to avoiding conflict.

Russian officials have rejected warnings of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, and have blamed western countries for raising tensions with such warnings. Gallego said the Russian buildup of troops was likely inevitable regardless of the United States’ involvement, and now the U.S. government must do all it can to help Ukraine defend itself. That includes unifying its allies to ensure Russia will face harsh economic consequences should they choose to invade.

“We have a moral authority in the world, especially within our place in Europe, that we should be there,” Gallego told CNN. “We should be backing democracies versus autocracies.”