Spectrum News, 04/06/2022
ANCHOR: As Russia continues its attacks on Ukraine, the US is responding with continued support for the Ukrainian people. This means everything from supplying weapons to welcoming refugees here at home. Sherman Oaks Congressman Brad Sherman is providing his constituents with an update on hall tonight with the current ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S. Congressman. Sherman joins us live this morning to tell us more. Good morning, congressman. Thank you for joining us.
SHERMAN: Thank you. We’ve had a series of telephone town halls throughout the whole COVID period, and this is going to be a particularly good town hall at seven p.m. this evening because we do have really and her only appearance before people in California and her only congressional town hall. Ambassador Oksana Markarova who is the representative of the Ukrainian government here in the United States and I think has done an outstanding job of presenting their case to the American people.
ANCHOR: As you hold this town hall tonight, congressman, the atrocities coming out of Ukraine, as you well know, are getting worse by the day against innocent civilians. Ukrainian President Zelensky is calling on Russia’s calling Russia’s actions genocide and called for the West to do more military aid, working with allies to shut off gas imports. How far are you willing to go? Are you willing to go much further than Congress has gone already?
SHERMAN: Well, we need to be providing Ukraine with the weapons they need to defend themselves and even to roll back some of the invasion. We need to take tougher economic steps on Russia. There are a host of other oligarchs that still need to be sanctioned, but we need to prevent the use of cryptocurrencies to evade those sanctions. And we need to provide tanks and air defense systems to the Ukrainian Defense Forces.
ANCHOR: President Zelensky called on the Security Council to oust Russia from the Security Council and to enforce Article one, which is to keep the peace and says if they’re not going to do that, Zelensky asks why the council exists in the first place. Do you agree with that?
SHERMAN: Well, the United Nations is a very imperfect organization, but you cannot expel Russia from the Security Council. Why? Well, you would need a vote of the Security Council where Russia has a veto. And while the U.N. is a very imperfect organization, it’s a place for good and bad actors to get together and and discuss efforts if we only had an organization of democracies. And perhaps we do need a worldwide organization. We have NATO, we have relationships in Asia. Perhaps there needs to be a second U.N., but there needs to be a place where all nations can discuss policy and the U.N. fills that role as a technical matter. You cannot, under the UN charter, expel Russia from the Security Council without Russia’s consent, and that is not going to happen. I don’t blame Zelensky for suggesting it.
ANCHOR: Congressman, top U.S. General Mark Milley is warning that the way this war is escalating, this could expand now into an international conflict, another world war that we so fear. And as a member yourself of the Foreign Affairs Committee, at what point should NATO get involved? Blasts have been heard near the Polish border 50 miles away as we speak.
SHERMAN: That’s why we have a border between NATO Territory and nonNATO territory. We are obligated to defend NATO territory as if it was our own. Ukraine is not a member of NATO and we must avoid Americans and Russians shooting at each other because that could clearly get out of hand. And I realized from a UK perspective, the number one issue is reclaiming their territory from this Russian invasion. But from an American perspective, while that is important of even greater importance, is avoiding a thermonuclear war. I do want to point out that people can dial into our town hall at seven p.m. or anytime between 7 and 8:15PM, and I’ll hold up the phone number here–
ANCHOR: Or hold it up a little higher so we can see it. There you go, which is 855-920-0548. Before our time is finished, I did want to ask you the U.S. is preparing to welcome hundred thousand refugees. We aired a story this morning about the challenges of the asylum process. What is your district doing to welcome these refugees and make sure their passage into our country is easy and they’re not treated as criminals when they come?
SHERMAN: Well, I think those who come will be those with family here in the United States and but we should regard refugee acceptance either in the United States or the much larger number of refugees that Germany, Poland and others are taking in Europe as a very much a second best solution. The goal here isn’t to depopulate Ukraine and have its people move elsewhere. The purpose here is to restore an independent and hopefully prosperous Ukraine. And so we should welcome refugees. Some of them will be coming only on a temporary basis. The vast majority of Ukrainians want to live in Ukraine.
ANCHOR: Congressman, thank you so much for joining us this morning. We wish you the very best of luck with your town hall tonight at 7:00 p.m. Dial the number right there on your screen. We’re promoting it yet again. I happen to live in your district. Congressman Sherman of Sherman Oaks. Thank you very much for joining us this morning and we’ll be in touch.
SHERMAN: Good people will have a chance to ask questions and I think it will be an interesting night.
ANCHOR: Wonderful, so important. Thank you. And we’ll be right back, everyone.