Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Senate Panel Leaders Brutalize Administration on Russia: ‘I’m Embarrassed for Us’

Menendez and Corker listen to testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry, during an April Senate Foreign Relations hearing about the fiscal 2015 international affairs budget proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Menendez and Corker listen to testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry during an April Senate Foreign Relations hearing about the fiscal 2015 international affairs budget proposal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

To say that the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are getting impatient with the Obama administration regarding its threats of harsher sanctions against Russia over Ukraine might be an understatement. Sample quote from a hearing Wednesday: “Our country acting like such a paper tiger to the world on this and so many other fronts is doing incredible long-term damage to our nation.”

That one came from Bob Corker, the top GOP member of the panel. He offered some of the more colorful quotes from the hearing, aimed at Obama administration officials: “I’m embarrassed for us,” for instance, or, to Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, some sympathetic consoling that she has to “wake up, look in the mirror and practice talking tough.” He also criticized the administration’s “feckless sanctions policy” and “hollow threats.”

But the Democratic chairman of the committee wasn’t kind, either. In response to Nuland’s vow of Russian sanctions “very soon” if the country doesn’t improve its handling of Ukraine, New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, said, “I feel like we’ve heard that before.” He cited past demands, such as Russia endings support for separatists, under the threat of the advanced “sectoral” sanctions broadly targeting Russia’s energy and financial industries. “I look at what the standards are,” he said, “and I see no advance in any of those standards.

“So what are we waiting for?” he asked.

Nuland said that the administration held off on pressing new sanctions while Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko sought peace during a ceasefire. After that fell apart, the administration held off while the Europeans tried to bring the two sides together, which also failed. “We are continuing to consult with our European allies,” he said. “We will be stronger if work together.”

Europe has closer financial ties to Russia, which has led many analysts to doubt whether European nations would ever embrace sectoral sanctions. But Nuland said she was confident. “My judgment based on hours and hours and hours of conversations,” she said, “is that if Russia does not stop rearming separatists, does not stop its financial support, that we will have European support for another round of sanctions.”

Menendez said Congress might not wait on the administration before pushing through legislation imposing new sanctions.

Comments (18)

  1. Layla

    July 9, 2014
    1:24 p.m.

    Millions of us are embarrassed and afraid for this country. You’ll be lucky if the American people don’t march on Washington and forcibly remove each and every one of you before this administration is done. You deserve nothing less.

    There isn’t a leader among you and certainly not one in the White House.

  2. Petronius

    July 14, 2014
    5:27 p.m.

    There will not be serious European sanctions on Russia because they decide on those unanimously and that means 29 governments.

  3. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    8:40 a.m.

    I got what you intend, thankyou for putting up.Woh I am lucky to find this website through google. “I was walking down the street wearing glasses when the prescription ran out.” by Steven Wright.

  4. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    5:54 a.m.

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you continue this in future. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  5. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    7:02 a.m.

    Enjoyed reading this, very good stuff, appreciate it.

  6. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    5:51 a.m.

    Hello.This article was extremely interesting, especially since I was investigating for thoughts on this subject last Friday.

  7. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    8:01 a.m.

    What i don’t understood is actually how you are not really much more well-liked than you may be right now. You’re very intelligent. You realize therefore considerably relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from a lot of varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t fascinated unless it’s one thing to do with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always maintain it up!

  8. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:25 p.m.

    It is really a nice and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    7:36 p.m.

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a doubt donate to this superb blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  10. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    8:57 a.m.

    I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  11. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    5:06 p.m.

    hi!,I really like your writing very a lot! percentage we keep up a correspondence more approximately your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this space to solve my problem. May be that is you! Having a look forward to see you.

  12. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    11:48 a.m.

    It is really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    2:04 p.m.

    Hey there would you mind letting me know which web host you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a honest price? Kudos, I appreciate it!

  14. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    9:27 a.m.

    This web site is really a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely discover it.

  15. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    9:57 p.m.

  16. workout

    Aug. 15, 2015
    5:49 p.m.

    Hey, thanks for the blog.Really thank you! Will read on…

  17. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    6:16 a.m.

    nSctAL Wow, great blog article.Really thank you! Great.

  18. desene animate romana

    Sept. 9, 2015
    10:47 p.m.

    Thanks a lot for the blog post. Much obliged.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...