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Montana leaders urge sanctions against Russia

Montana Sen. Jon Tester (L) and Sen. Steve Daines (R)

Montana’s top political leaders issued statements Thursday as the United States announced new sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

Senator Steve Daines called Putin “a thug” and says he does not support sending American troops to Ukraine. President Biden has ordered more U.S. troops to Europe and its NATO allies but has said the forces will not engage in the conflict in Ukraine. A spokesperson for Daines said he supports sanctions against Russia but thinks it’s too late.

Sen. Jon Tester says Putin single-handedly started a war that makes the world less safe. He says he supports the actions the Biden administration and the U.S.’s allies took against Russia and will continue to support NATO and European allies.

Rep. Matt Rosendale says he does not support sending troops overseas and the United States has no obligation to aid Russia or Ukraine in the conflict.

Gov. Greg Gianforte says the U.S. and democratic allies should respond immediately with sanctions against Russia.

Montana National Guard troops have not received orders or changed their operations in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but they are monitoring the situation closely.

Major Ryan Finnegan said in a statement the state national guard is standing by for any changes that higher headquarters may order.

President Joe Biden announced Thursday he’s ordering additional U.S. troops to Europe, but said they will not be engaged in conflict with Russia in Ukraine.

According to Finnegan, approximately 520 Montana National Guard troops are overseas currently. About 40 are in Europe.

Freddy Monares is a reporter and Morning Edition host at Montana Public Radio.
Shaylee is Montana Public Radio's Capitol reporter. She previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and covered the 2019 legislative session for the University of Montana's Legislative News Service.
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