OHIO — Amid ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, both of Ohio's senators and a Ohio Senate candidate condemned Russia President Vladimir Putin's decision to recognize two pro-Russia regions in eastern Ukraine as independent and sent troops there.

What You Need To Know

  • More than 150,000 Russian troops are currently lining the border of Ukraine

  • The U.S., the European Union, the U.K. and a number of other allies have imposed sanctions following Russia's actions

  • Sen. Rob Portman and Sen. Sherrod Brown support the sanctions, but are urging the Biden administration to do more with allies to prevent Russia from making more moves against Ukraine

  • The White House declared the crisis an "invasion" on Tuesday

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, released a statement late Monday supporting sanctions against Russia and urged the Biden administration to take more action. 

“Russia is continuing to violate the territorial integrity of Ukraine by sending additional forces into two Ukrainian territories, Luhansk and Donetsk. These are Ukrainian territories that Russia has been essentially occupying for the past eight years. Now they are adding additional troops and recognizing these two Ukrainian territories as independent, in clear violation of international law,” said Portman. 

Russia President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into two Russia-backed separatist territories in Ukraine, to which the United Nations Security Council condemned at a meeting Monday night, calling it a violation of international law. 

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called the move "an act of naked aggression" against Ukraine. 

“President Biden should swiftly begin to impose the punishing economic and financial sanctions he has prepared, including against Putin himself,” said Brown. “I have worked with my Senate colleagues to ensure the President has the tools to sanction Russia’s leaders, its banking and finance sectors, and other critical industries. Now is the time for these tools to begin to be used, to demonstrate to Putin the consequences Russia will suffer from his actions, and hopefully to avert a wider war."

Congressman Tim Ryan, OH-13 and Senate candidate, is urging the U.S. to stand with Ukraine. 

"The United States must stand in solidarity with Ukraine by immediately imposing crippling sanctions that will be devastating to Putin’s interests. We are also working with our European allies to ensure Ukraine’s military has the equipment and resources to defend itself," Ryan said in a statement Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the White House begun referring to Russia's moves into Ukraine an "invasion" following Putin's acknowledgement of the two territories. 

The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) called it the "most dangerous situation" for the European Union in decades. 

“This is a serious escalation by Russia and a flagrant violation of international law," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

President Joe Biden imposed sanctions against the Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic, barring "new investment, trade and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in" those areas.