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ICYMI: Rubio Joins This Week with George Stephanopoulous
Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined This Week with George Stephanopoulos to discuss the latest on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. See below for highlights and watch the full interview here.
On why a no-fly zone could lead to a World War III:
“A no-fly zone has become a catchphrase, and I’m not sure a lot of people fully understand what that means. [It] means flying AWACS 24 hours a day with the willingness to shoot down and engage Russian airplanes in the sky. Frankly, you can’t put those planes up there unless you’re willing to knock out the anti-aircraft systems that the Russians have deployed, not just in Ukraine, but in Russia and also in Belarus.
“Basically, a no-fly zone means starting World War III. I think there are a lot of things we can do to help Ukraine protect itself, both from air strikes and missile strikes, but I think people need to understand what a no-fly zone means. It’s not some rule you pass that everybody has to oblige by. It’s the willingness to shoot down the aircraft of the Russian Federation, which is basically the beginning of World War III.”
On whether Senator Rubio supports the provision to send American fighter jets in exchange providing jets to Ukraine:
“I do. If that can be done, that would be great… [If] they can actually fly [the jets] given the amount of anti-aircraft capabilities that the Russians possess and continue to have deployed in the region… They don’t have air control either there, but generally speaking it is something I’d be supportive of and we should do what we can to help them.”
On cutting off Russian oil imports and utilizing American oil:
“You could use reserves for the purposes of buffering [gas prices]. We have more than enough ability in this country to produce enough oil to make up for the percentage that we buy from Russia. This notion that banning Russian oil would raise prices on American consumers is an admission that this guy, this killer, this butcher, Vladimir Putin, has leverage over us. Why would we want that leverage to continue?
“Why would we [allow] someone like him to have the power to raise gas prices on Americans? If he cuts [the United States] off, what would happen in the reverse? I think [the United States] has enough of it. We should produce more American oil and [not buy anymore] Russian oil.”
On the mass video call with Zelenskyy:
“There was no security risk at all. Perhaps [Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova] was under the impression that the Zoom call was a secret. It had been broadly reported [by] multiple outlets, maybe even ABC had tweeted it was at 9:30. There were over 300 people on this call. The details of the call were emailed to a bunch of people and it was a nondescript picture — just like the other ones you’ve seen on the air. There was no security risk there.”
On Vladimir Putin’s future:
“People are watching what’s happening in Ukraine and what [Putin] is doing to these people, what this monster is doing to human beings, and they’re very angry about it. I do think Vladimir Putin is going to face some problems internally in Russia. How the Russians seek to take care of it is up to them… The two outcomes he has before him are a costly military victory followed by a costly long-term occupation or a quagmire, but he is also facing a second front at home where his economy is headed to third world status pretty rapidly.
“I think [Putin] is acting in a manner he believes is rational, because this is a guy who views himself as a historic figure. He believes his legacy is going to be secured by being the person that restored great Russia. You can’t be a greater Russia without Ukraine under your thumb and that’s what he is pursuing now. I also believe that he is a person that cannot survive being humiliated. He can’t survive in power if it looks like he backed down to NATO. That [will] create a real opportunity here for danger.
“I don’t think his perceptions are the same as our perceptions about the world [and] about the way things are going. [Putin] is an authoritarian leader… They don’t report a lot of bad news to him because it doesn’t get you promoted. Unfortunately, I think we’re entering probably the most dangerous part of this conflict because as he begins to realize he can’t make the tactical gains on the ground that he wants to make, he’s willing to escalate and do things that, unfortunately, would be pretty cataclysmic.”
On the potential aftermath of Russia’s war:
“That’s one of the great challenges of these moments. If you look throughout history, there are times when you reach points like this where there doesn’t seem to be an easy way out. I hope I’m wrong. I hope I wake up tomorrow and read that there’s been [a] great negotiation, peace is here, people are going to be able to get humanitarian aid, and the shelling is going to stop. That’s what my heart hopes for, but my mind, and what I know about [Putin] and Russia, its intentions and history, tells me we’ve got some ways to go yet until we reach a point like that. It’s not going to be a pretty journey to that point. There’s not a lot of good options here right now, unfortunately.”