Guthrie: Putin made ‘strategic blunder’

May 7 — There are rumors in Washington that Russia may declare victory in Ukraine on Monday and de-escalate the war, US Rep. Brett Guthrie, a Bowling Green Republican, said Friday during a stop in Owensboro.

Monday is Victory Day in Russia, a holiday that commemorates the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.

“Putin made a strategic blunder” in invading Ukraine, Guthrie said, noting that the Russian Army hasn’t been nearly as effective as the world had thought it was.

He said, “The Ukrainians are very tough fighters. We probably should have gotten equipment to them sooner, but we’re getting it to them now.”

Ukraine, he said, is the world’s third-largest supplier of grain and that’s hurting the world’s supply of grain.

Guthrie said he believes if gas prices can be stabilized, inflation will start to come down.

He said there is no evidence that oil companies are gouging consumers, despite several companies reporting record profits this year.

Guthrie said the United States needs more drilling for oil and natural gas and more pipelines to move it.

He said OPEC is withholding oil from the market because it does not like the United States negotiating with Iran.

Electric vehicles – at least hybrids – are the future, Guthrie said.

But the United States is not there yet and gas will still be needed for some time, he said.

“We need an Operation Warp Speed ​​(the program that led to the rapid discovery and approval of vaccines for COVID-19) for energy,” Guthrie said.

He said he is concerned about the rapidly rising amount of fentanyl coming across the border from Mexico.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. It’s used legally for pain management.

But Guthrie said illegal fentanyl is coming into the country, even marijuana has been laced with it.

He said it’s manufactured in China and sent into the United States by illegal immigrants.

Guthrie said the country needs to punish those manufacturing and selling illegal fentanyl and offer programs to help with recovery for those who have been addicted to it.

He said his Comprehensive Opioid Recovery Centers Act was signed into law in 2018.

It established grants to offer different approaches to recovery.

Guthrie said he’s also working to get more businesses to hire people who have completed recovery to help them get back on their feet.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301

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