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Tillis says Biden should've acted sooner on Russia but current sanctions are 'having an impact'

Sen. Thom Tillis warned Republicans against pushing for an isolationist approach to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, saying it could have disastrous consequences.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis called out both sides of the aisle over the crisis in Ukraine and said he believes President Joe Biden should've acted sooner to impose sanctions against Russia. 

"I think the Biden administration and Democrats missed an opportunity to avoid an invasion if we had implemented sanctions earlier," Tillis said.

Still, Tillis, who is a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, said the current sanctions are working.

"We're already having an impact," Tillis said. "The ruble is declining. They've shut down their stock market."

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But the Mecklenburg County Republican reserved some of his harshest criticism for members of his own party who advocated for more of an isolationist approach or even complimented Russian President Vladimir Putin's strategy. 

"It's hogwash," Tillis said. "For anyone to think that the ocean separates us from any threat to the homeland, they need to pull out a globe and they need to take out a history book, and recognize every time this nation has taken an isolationist stance, it's resulted in world wars."

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Tillis said the U.S. should be ready to act decisively if Russian troops step foot in any NATO member country.

Contact Ben Thompson at bthompson@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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