Hawley demands Biden ‘step up’ and provide Zelenskyy MiGs, weaponry: ‘This could be the end of Ukraine'

Rep. Spartz on Zelenskyy challenging Biden to step up: ‘I haven’t seen it so far’

First Ukrainian-born member of Congress Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-Ind., discusses Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s speech to Congress on ‘America’s Newsroom.’

FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., reacted to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to Congress, saying the Biden administration is “failing to lead” and must provide Ukraine with the planes and weaponry necessary to defend itself against Russia.

Zelenskyy, in an address to Congress Wednesday, pleaded with the United States to “do more” by implementing a no-fly zone, providing additional aircraft and air defense systems, and creating a new security alliance.

Hawley spoke with Fox News Digital immediately following Zelenskyy’s address, calling it “very powerful” and accusing the Biden administration of “dragging their feet” and failing to take immediate action on some of the Ukrainian president’s demands.

“I thought it was very powerful. I thought his pleas to the administration to do more work were very, very powerful. He asked for tougher sanctions, which I think are very much in order. He asked for help in the skies.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers a virtual address to Congress by video at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
(Drew Angerer, Pool via AP)

Hawley told Fox News Digital that the U.S. and its allies are unlikely to fully close the skies in the form of a no-fly zone Zelenskyy is asking for, but President Biden must approve anti-aircraft planes and other weaponry to assist the Ukrainians in their fight against Russia.

“And the administration course has been dragging their feet on this for reasons that I frankly don’t really understand. And then at the end, he said that, you know, he wished Joe Biden would step up and be the leader of the world. And, you know, that’s something that we all wish. So I think he hit the nail on the head there, and this administration has got to show some leadership,” Hawley said. 

“They’ve failed to deter Russia the first sentence they’ve failed so far to show real strength. And what this president needs to do now is he needs to reopen American energy production, needs to sanction the Russians’ energy production and turn off their cash flow, and he needs to get weapons and ammunition to the Ukrainians.”

Hawley said he’s in full support of backing the Ukrainians getting access to MiG-29 fighter jets from Poland, which would help them shoot down Russian planes. 

“They’re asking for MiGs that I understand that the Polish government is prepared to give to them. And I see no reason why we wouldn’t support that. They’re asking for more and more sophisticated anti-aircraft weaponry. And I think we ought to supply that to them. And in my view, is we ought to be supplying them all of the weaponry. And this is all defensive in nature. We need to be supplying the weaponry and the elimination of anything that they can use. They know how to fly the MiGs. Their trained Ukrainian pilots are trained on the MiGs. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivers a virtual address to Congress by video at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
(Sarah Silbiger, Pool via AP)

“I’m in favor of getting back to them and getting them up in the skies and giving them the entire aircraft weaponry to allow them to shoot down Russian planes and to begin to establish some control over the skies. I mean, I just if we’re not going to do that, then President Zelenskyy is right. I mean, they’re really just sitting there exposed. So I think it’s time the administration moved on this.”

When asked about why Biden seems to be moving slowly on action to help Ukraine, Hawley said it’s the latest in a series of the Biden administration’s public disagreements, including most recently in the wake of the botched Afghanistan withdrawal.

“They seem to be having their own public set of disagreements, as is normal with this administration. You know, the Secretary of State initially said that the administration would support getting the MiGs to Ukraine and then just a few days later, they walked that back. The Pentagon apparently recommended against it. And so, you know, we saw this in Afghanistan, and this administration spent all their time fighting among themselves, talking to each other and failing to lead. 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., introduces Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to speak to the U.S. Congress by video at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 16, 2022.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)

“And again, this is an administration that has now lost two sovereign nations in six months. They failed to deter this Russian invasion. They projected nothing but weakness. And we’re seeing it now. You see the allies questioning what the administration is doing. You’ve got multiple NATO allies calling for getting planes to the Ukrainians.”

Hawley also emphasized that he is very opposed to putting American troops on the ground in Ukriane, but providing them weaponry is a very different thing. 

“And the administration needs to move on that,” said Hawley. 

I mean, it was this is this could be the end of Ukraine unless something is done.”

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