Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, described Russia's alleged war crimes in Ukraine as "clearly" a genocide, criticizing European nations for "funding" the "genocidal campaign."
A number of international journalists have reported on Ukrainian civilians being shot in the back of the head with their hands tied in areas that Russia occupied for several weeks. There have been reports of mass graves with hundreds of bodies, and President Joe Biden has declared his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to be a "war criminal."
"I think this clearly is genocide," Cheney responded. The congresswoman went on to say, "Europe needs to understand and grapple with the fact that you've got a genocidal campaign...I think also that the Europeans need to understand that they're funding that genocidal campaign. I understand the economic consequences to countries in Western Europe if they were to impose the kind of oil and gas embargo that the U.S. has imposed against Russian oil and gas, but they need to do it."
Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) accused Russia of "clearly" carrying out a "genocide" in Ukraine during a Sunday interview with CNN. Above, Cheney speaks during a committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 28 in Washington, D.C. Drew Angerer/Getty Images
"We need to do everything we can to increase our own domestic production to help make sure we can supply them with as much as possible," the congresswoman continued. "But they need to understand that every single time, every single day that they are continuing to import Russian oil and gas—they're funding Putin's genocide in Ukraine."
Peter Stano, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy at the European Commission, told Newsweek that normally they do not comment on remarks from individual lawmakers in third countries. However, he outlined some facts about Europe's response to the crisis.
Europeans "understand very well what is going on in Ukraine and are the first who is interested to see [an] end of the Russian invasion, since this is our direct neighborhood and we are witnessing a war directly at our doorstep, on our immediate borders," Stano said in an email. The spokesperson pointed to the billions of euros European nations have provided for humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine, as well as the "4 million Ukrainians who fled the Russian bloodshed and shelling" who are now being cared for as refugees in Western Europe.