Senior US politicians from both parties criticized President Barack Obama’s threats to Russian President Vladimir Putin and called for immediate sanctions if troops are not immediately withdrawn from Ukraine
Republican Senators John McCain (AZ), Marco Rubio (FL) and Bob Corker (TN) and others, as well as some Democrats, reached across the aisle to call for immediate sanctions against Russia and aid to Ukraine before Putin becomes even more emboldened.
McCain was quick to criticize the president’s threats in an interview with the Daily Beast, calling them ‘laughable’ and partly blaming former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for thinking she and Obama could ‘reset’ relations with Russia back in 2009.
‘She believed that somehow there would be a reset with a guy who was a KGB colonel who always had ambitions to restore the Russian empire,’ said McCain. ‘That’s what this is all about.’
The Senator called for the Obama administration to more liberally enforce the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law and Accountability Act, which has allowed the US government to sanction Russian officials for human rights violations since being signed into law in 2009.
Any Russian officials, Putin included, involved in sending troops to Ukraine should be sanctioned, McCain argued – such action would result in asset freezing, visa bans and a wagging of the collective international finger, Daily Beast noted.
‘We must consider legislation to respond to this,’ McCain continued. ‘The Magnitsky bill can be expanded for holding people responsible for these acts of aggression.’
The longtime Senator also called for economic sanctions and other actions against Russia.
Corker also hammered away at the situation, calling Russia ‘a nation still smarting from the breakup of the Soviet Union with a leader who is nothing but an autocrat’ and called for immediate sanctions during a CNN interview.