Pelosi says Putin must 'feel the pain' if Russia invades Ukraine

She called the situation "deadly serious."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said if Russia invades Ukraine, she would support putting "strong" and "forceful" sanctions on Moscow and its leader, Vladimir Putin.

The sanctions must be "much more forceful than they have been" and "strong enough to be effective," Pelosi told reporters during her weekly press briefing. The U.S. currently maintains sanctions on the former Soviet Union for its 2014 invasion of Ukraine and human rights abuses, among other things.

"They are talking about an invasion of the country," she said. "We are talking about NATO being– NATO countries being at risk if the Russians succeed in Ukraine. This is deadly serious."

The White House last week discussed possible sanctions on Russia, such as export controls and even sanctioning Putin personally. 

"They have to feel the pain and be felt right up to the richest man in the world, Vladimir Putin. nobody knows what he's going to do, except him," Pelosi said. Putin's net worth is unclear, but it has been estimated to be up to $200 billion, according to Forbes.

Also during the press conference, Pelosi praised the U.S. military for the operation targeting an ISIS leader in Syria, but she called the terrorist's suicide "sad."

"It is so sad because this leader of the ISIS, maybe it's what they believe, he decided that he would blow himself up in his children and his family with him as well. That's what happened last night," she said, before suddenly changing the topic.

"This week, it's a happy week for us. It's a momentous one for the future of America's workers in the economy as the house passes the COMPETES Act," she praised Democrats.