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Southern Tier congressional delegation urges firm response to Russia's threats against Ukraine

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG)—Southern Tier's congressional delegation is calling for a tough U.S. response to Russia’s threats against Ukraine.

President Biden said Russia’s decision to move troops into Eastern Ukraine was "the beginning of a Russian invasion.” He announced economic sanctions on Tuesday.

Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-19) said the U.S. must hold Russian leaders accountable. His district includes all of Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie and Ulster counties, as well as part of Broome County.

“We can't accept a world where sovereign nations can be impeded upon in this fashion, this is not the state of the jungle anymore,” Delgado said while visiting Oneonta on Tuesday. “We've come together as a collective and I think it's important for us to rally around our international norms.”

The Hudson Valley Democrat said those who believe in a collective international well-being should be disturbed by what he called a return to “might makes right,” and rally against it.

Binghamton-area Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-22) called Biden’s sanctions “toothless.” In a statement, the Republican urged the president to take further action, including removing Russia from the United Nations Security Council.

“The Permanent Members of this body are responsible for promoting international peace and security. If Russia so brazenly chooses to undermine these values, it should forfeit its position as a Permanent Member,” Tenney wrote. “Destabilizing actions must have decisive consequences.”

Rep. Tom Reed (R-23) shared a similar message. The Republican, who represents Ithaca and Corning, said the U.S. must keep in mind what ripple effects a war between Russia, Ukraine and their allies may have on nearby economic powers.

“Unfortunately, the Biden Administration has continued to show weakness and mixed messages in the face of this Russian invasion and therefore we need firm and strong leadership now to achieve peace through strength,” Reed said Tuesday. “At the same time do not lose sight of how this impacts China, the South China sea, and matters in that region.”

Tuesday's financial sanctions follow similar measures taken by the United Kingdom and European Union. They come in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to move troops into two separatist regions of Ukraine, calling them independent of the country.

Putin declared the move a “peacekeeping” effort. It has raised fears among Western nations that Russia will stage an attack.