Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) delivered an impassioned call for the Senate to pass a Ukraine aid bill Tuesday in remarks on the Senate floor.
The Florida senator said the principal reason the world finds itself in an international standoff with Russia over Ukraine is because most of Europe depends on Russia for their natural gas.
To counter Russian President Vladimir Putin's geopolitical influence and his unwarranted international aggression, Rubio called for the U.S. and international community to take several actions.
Firstly, he said Europe should further develop their own domestic natural gas resources to decrease their dependence on Russia. Jointly, Rubio issued a call for the United States to increase its own natural gas exports to supplement Western Europe.
Rubio cited Sen. John Barasso's (R., Wyo.) amendment to the Ukraine bill as a way to achieve the export objective.
In addition to addressing the energy component of the crisis, the Florida senator said the U.S. needs to assert its influence to rally international support against Putin.
Putin, Rubio pointed out, is deliberately and unequivocally violating the international norms surrounding state sovereignty that have been in place since World War II.
Moreover, the Russian leader's brazen defiance of norms becomes even more apparent when one considers Putin is deliberately lying about the identity of the Russian "local defense forces" inside Ukraine, he added.
Rubio went on to say by failing to act in a unified manner against Putin's incursion into Crimea, the world risks setting a dangerous precedent for nations around the world who may be encouraged to take similar action and assert territorial claims.
"The free world will never be able to rally to impose those costs unless the United States of America leads that effort. We can't do it alone. But it cannot be done without it," he said.
While some disagreement exists over a provision that increases funding to the IMF, the Florida senator argued voting no sends a message to U.S. allies that America is unreliable.
"One of the arguments that our adversaries around the world use is they tell our allies, why are you still in the United States camp? Their government is always bickering and deeply divided. They can't come together in Washington to do anything."
However, Rubio concluded by calling for the Senate to buck that caricature and show a united front in support of Ukraine and U.S. global leadership.
"We cannot afford to be wrong and so I hope that I can urge as many of my colleagues as possible to support this legislation with all of its flaws so that we can send a clear message that on these issues we are united as a people and a nation and that we remain committed to U.S. global leadership."