UPDATED 11:07 AM PT – Thursday, March 3, 2022
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a resolution calling for an international court to investigate Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes. He, along with Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.), announced the measure in a press conference Wednesday, which supports a complaint filed by Ukraine in the International Criminal Court.
The complaint alleges Putin committed war crimes in Russia’s ongoing attack on the sovereignty of the Ukrainian people. Graham denounced Putin as a “war criminal” and vowed to pursue justice for Ukraine.
“I will do everything in my power, as long as it takes, to be a voice for justice for the Ukrainian people,” stated the Republican lawmaker. “To hold one of the most vicious people on the planet finally accountable. Putin and all of his cronies. enough of the murder, enough of the destruction. There will come a day when the rule of law trumps the rule of the gun.”
Just introduced resolution condemning the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, & Russian military commanders for committing flagrant acts of aggression & atrocities rising to the level of war crimes against humanity & crimes against the Ukrainian people.https://t.co/XD4kziVWYx pic.twitter.com/2qpQBM0JOi
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 3, 2022
The senator went on to further discuss the possible consequences in the aftermath if Russia were to successfully invade Ukraine.
“If Ukraine falls to Putin, it will set in motion dire consequences for us as a nation,” he asserted. “China will get the signal that they can take Taiwan. The Iranians will believe that we have no will to stop their nuclear ambitions.”
Graham also addressed the Russian people, emphasizing the U.S. understands their is a difference between them and Putin and they too are a victim of his actions. Meanwhile, Spartz, the only Ukrainian-American in Congress, is also condemning the invasion of her native country.
“It’s not a war, it’s a genocide and destruction and killing of people…they just killing us like we are animals,” she stated. “It’s awful. This is criminal. These people cannot get away with that.”
This comes after the International Criminal Court said earlier this week that it would seek court approval to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in the Eastern European nation. However, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he believes Putin’s actions toward Ukraine already qualify as a war crime. Looking ahead, the sSen. Graham said he hopes if the U.S. supports the complaint, more nations will follow suit.