Since Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, I have spoken against President Putin’s unprovoked aggression and staunchly stood with our Ukrainian allies. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was a desperate ploy to instill a sense of Russian pride following the illegal invasion of Crimea in 2014 and has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent Ukrainians.

Ukraine is an American ally; Russia’s actions are an invasion of a sovereign nation and it cannot stand.

For months I have cosponsored legislation, voted in Congress, and spoken out to hold Russia accountable and bring attention to the heinous war crimes that have been committed against the people of Ukraine.

Long before this war, I called for sanctions against the Nord Streat 2 pipeline. Since Russia’s invasion, I have voted in favor of sending funding and supplies to Ukraine and voted to end normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus.

Earlier this month, I joined the Ukraine Caucus and met with Members of the Ukrainian Parliament. During the meeting, we discussed the war in their country and how the United States and other countries can continue to support them.

My actions toward and words against President Putin and Russia’s Parliament have not gone unnoticed by Russia. Two weeks ago, Russia imposed sanctions on 398 Members of Congress, including myself.

If speaking out against Russia’s war crimes and the continued spread of authoritarianism and tyranny under President Putin results in sanctions, then I am proud to wear this sanction as a badge of honor and will continue to voice my support for the Ukrainian people.

Sanctions from the Russian Foreign Ministry will not deter my support for Ukraine. I promise that I will continue to stand up to Russia and do everything in my power to hold Russia accountable for its illegal invasion of Ukraine and the war crimes they have committed against the Ukrainian people.

Mariannette Miller-Meeks is a resident of Ottumwa who currently represents Iowa’s Second District in the United States House of Representatives.