Schiff says Russian invasion of Ukraine 'very likely'
"I think that it would require enormous sanctions on Russia to deter what appears to be a very likely Russian invasion of Ukraine again," Schiff said.
Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday said he fears that Russia is "very likely" to invade Ukraine – the same day President Joe Biden spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
"I think that it would require enormous sanctions on Russia to deter what appears to be a very likely Russian invasion of Ukraine again," Schiff, House Intelligence Committee chairman, told Margaret Brennan on CBS's "Face the Nation." Russia has already illegally annexed Crimea, a portion of Ukraine, in 2014.
Schiff added that if Russia invades Ukraine, "That we will move more NATO's assets closer to Russia. That it will have the opposite impact of what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is trying to achieve," as the assets can be deployed against Russia. Schiff's comments also come just days after Biden had a phone call with Putin.
Several times throughout the interview, Schiff emphasized the importance of sanctions. Zelensky said last month that unless sanctions preceded an invasion, they "won't matter to anyone."
Schiff said he does not understand Putin's motivations for invasion, but added, "I think nothing other than a level of sanctions that Russia has never seen will deter him, and that's exactly what we need to do with our allies."
After a phone call with Biden last week, the Kremlin warned that any sanctions "would be a mistake that our descendants would see as a huge error."
More than 100,000 Russian troops are estimated to be deployed near the Ukraine border.
During a phone call with Zelensky Sunday, the White House stated "Biden made clear that the United States and its allies and partners will respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine."