WASHINGTON, D.C. (WTAJ) — Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey is calling for sanctions to be inflicted on Russia following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree Monday recognizing two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine as independent.

In a statement released Tuesday, Toomey said Putin is degrading Ukraine’s sovereignty and added that Russia’s advances will create a humanitarian crisis in Europe by displacing millions of Ukrainians.

“The United States and our allies must aim to stop this war before the damage escalates further by imposing harsh sanctions on Russia to ensure Putin understands there will be a crippling cost to his abuses,” Toomey said. “The NYET Act—which Senator Risch and I introduced last week—would make Putin feel the consequences of his invasion of Ukraine by imposing secondary sanctions on Russian financial institutions. I urge the Senate to take up this legislation as soon as we return next week.”

Pennsylvania Congressman John Joyce also released a statement Tuesday echoing Toomey’s call for sanctions and saying President Joe Biden should act immediately against Russia.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a brazen attack on the sovereignty and safety of the Ukrainian people. Now more than ever we must stand with our European partners, like Ukraine, and our NATO allies to ensure their continued safety,” Joyce said. “President Biden should act immediately to sanction President Putin, members of the Russian government, and Russia itself for this dangerous and unjustified provocation of a peaceful, democratic Ukraine.”

President Biden plans to sign an executive order that would block new U.S. investment, trade and financing from flowing into the two Russian separatist-held regions in the country. White House press secretary Jen Psaki provided further details saying the executive order will give the President power to impose sanctions on any person who operates in the regions.

Russian troops have reportedly entered the country to “maintain peace” in the two Russian separatist-held regions in the country. The White House is beginning to refer to the Russian troop deployment as an “invasion.”

The Associated Press and The Hill contributed to this report.

Get daily updates on local news, weather and sports by signing up for the WTAJ Newsletter