SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Bay Area Congressman John Garamendi is in Belgium participating in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on behalf of the United States. 

In fact, the congressman was in a NATO meeting when President Putin made his announcement.

Haaziq: What are your concerns now that Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing the separatist areas of Ukraine as independent?
Congressman Garamendi: “This is a very big, very serious problem for, frankly, the entire world. The big Russian bear has taken a big piece, a big bite out of Ukraine. I am fearful, and most of my colleagues here at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly are fearful that this is Putin’s appetizer, and he fully intends to take the rest of Ukraine.”

Having said that, does Bay Area Congressman John Garamendi think President Biden’s response – prohibiting any financial support for the separatists goes far enough?

“Well, that is a small step. I think it’s useful right now but I think we have to follow up immediately. There are other things. We can cut Russia off from the international banking market. We can deal with their military which is heavily dependent on imported parts and pieces of all kinds. There are other sanctions that we must place of Putin and all of his cronies. All of their offshore money hidden in various places around the world,” Congressman Garamendi said. 

The congressman was asked: What do you think this move by Putin does to that potential meeting between President Biden and himself later this week? Do you think that still happens or no?

“I seriously doubt that it will happen. What I do see happening is sanctions being imposed. We’ll see what happens here but it is time for America and Europe to step up aggressively and give Putin a big whack across his bearish nose,” Congressman Garamendi said. 

Congressman Garamendi at this point is only referring to an economic blow to the nose of the Russian president. Not an action involving American troops.

“I do want to make it clear that America must and should continue to provide defensive weapons to Ukraine, and we should not provide American military in Ukraine. That’s not where we should go,” Congressman Garamendi said.