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October 10, 2015

McCain Raises Prospect of Russian Incursion Into Poland (Updated) (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain warned that the United States and Europe should avoid allowing Russia to set a precedent in Ukraine that could be later used for an incursion into Poland.

“If Vladimir Putin gets away with saying he’s defending the rights of Russian speaking peoples, that is the same thing — excuse that Hitler used,” the Arizona Republican said, invoking arguments made by Nazi Germany about the ethnic German population of the Sudetenland.

McCain has long been among the Senate’s most strident critics of Putin, repeatedly criticizing the Obama administration’s views about the Russian president.

“There are … Russian-speaking people in Poland. There’s … Russian speaking-people in Romania,” McCain said. “There’s plenty of places where he may feel he has to intervene … on behalf of Russian-speaking people.”

McCain said he didn’t particularly care whether sanctions against Russia are bundled together with an aid package of $1 billion or more of loan guarantees to Ukraine. Those discussions are currently ongoing. McCain said things should move quickly, even if it wouldn’t lead to the Russians leaving Crimea.

“As I’ve said all along, he believes that Crimea and Sevastopol is part of the Russian empire, despite the fact that in 1994, the Russians signed a solemn agreement saying the Crimea was part of Ukraine,” McCain said.

“We want to do everything we can that is with Europe, but if Europe decides not to, we also have to act,” McCain said. “We’re supposed to be the world’s superpower, and we should act like it, which we have not done.”

He also made another bold statement about fallout from recent events in another part of the globe.

“Now I predict to you that the Chinese are going to ratchet up over the Senkakus Islands,” McCain said, referring to the disputed Japanese territory that the Chinese call the Diaoyu Islands.

McCain also previewed what’s sure to be a heated debate on the future of military programs Wednesday morning, when Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel comes to the Hill for the regular scheduled hearing on the fiscal 2015 Pentagon budget request.

McCain serves on both the Foreign Relations and Armed Services panels.

“It’s exquisite timing that after this, tomorrow Chuck Hagel is going to testify before the Armed Services Committee to basically the United States Army on the belief that there will be no more land wars,” McCain said. “You know how many times we tried that in the 20th century?”

Comments (66)

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  1. blfdjlj

    March 4, 2014
    5:19 p.m.

    Poland has very few Russian-speaking people. Fortunately, this trick can’t be used there. There’s no Crimea or Abkhazia/Ossetia in Poland.

    • Mary123s

      March 5, 2014
      7:39 a.m.

      doesn’t mean it’s not possible. My party (D) my party decided to
      be tone deaf over these issues; thinking that with Obama in office it would be like 1995 over again. They thought that just b/c Wl was out of office everything would be easy and no one would mess with the Smartest People in the Room. They were mistaken.

    • richard40

      March 6, 2014
      10:34 a.m.

      True, but russia could use it to grab the baltic states, which border poland.

    • Anthony Caudill

      March 6, 2014
      3:21 p.m.

      Putin’s a clever guy. He’ll think of something.

  2. F Michael Addams

    March 4, 2014
    10:07 p.m.

    Meanwhile, in the Ballrooms of Congress, while
    the Courtier media applaud and swoon..McShame: ” Natural
    resources…Bank Loans..War profits…!…Honey..They’re playin’ our
    song..!…Ukrainian Rhapsody…

    • Winston Blake

      March 5, 2014
      8:31 a.m.

      McKeating Five should draw a pink line, write a 5th grade editorial and have a gay pride march with Sodom Hussein Obama… that will really scare those Russians…

      Russia has real soldiers on their borders.

      Imagine that.

  3. djred678

    March 5, 2014
    1:02 a.m.

    I think there are more Russian-speaking people in Latvia, Lithuania, and all those old USSR republics. Russian expansion into Poland should be less probable.

    • Winston Blake

      March 5, 2014
      8:33 a.m.

      The EUSSR (European Union) is worse than anything these people could accuse the Russians of.

      What about the border of the USA?

  4. teapartydoc

    March 5, 2014
    8:01 a.m.

    Time to liberate Cuba, I say.

  5. brigin

    March 5, 2014
    9:04 a.m.

    Why do ppl even listen to this guy. He’s obviously senile

  6. docb

    March 5, 2014
    9:10 a.m.

    Someone needs to slap this little old man back into the real World…He is no more connected than putin with reality! The EU is stepping up with $15 Billion through the IMF…the ruble is in the toilet as is the Russian Stock market…US will redirect Nat Gas to the EU to take up slack. The Crimeans are taking back their flagpoles and flying their flags.

    Putin is shown to be lying and flying by the seat of his pants…and this ineffectual old fool mccain the loser has forgotten history! US Presidents have faced Russian aggression in EVERY ADMIN since WWII and have used DIPLOMACY NEVER MILITARY FORCE…

  7. F Michael Addams

    March 5, 2014
    11:25 a.m.

    Sooner or later, Republicans are going to have to make up their minds
    whether Vladimir Putin is the new Stalin, or whether he’s just the guy
    they all hope asks them to prom.

    Read more: Rudy Giuliani Putin Leadership – Rudy Giuliani’s Mancrush On Putin – Esquire

  8. Doug Light

    March 5, 2014
    11:37 a.m.

    Using Putin’s logic, the Dutch could legitimately invade Suriname or China Indonesia.

  9. thult

    March 5, 2014
    11:44 a.m.

    Why is it surprising that John “Yosemite Sam” McCain would AGREE verbatim with Shrillary Clinton on this issue!

  10. nevergivein

    March 5, 2014
    12:32 p.m.

    I would say that Obama’s actions are closer to Hitler’s than are the actions of Putin. Just another distraction to change the discussion

  11. Jay Va

    March 5, 2014
    10:57 p.m.

    While the usefulness of goods, services, and resources tends to be self-evident, the merit of one’s efforts requires subjective evaluation.

  12. richard40

    March 6, 2014
    10:37 a.m.

    I think the immediate worry would not be poland, but russia trying to take over the baltic states. Although once russia has restablished the borders of the old soviet union, poland should indeed start to worry, that they willl also want to reestablish the warsaw pact.

  13. Anthony Caudill

    March 6, 2014
    3:17 p.m.

    Ukrainians, I ask you to take up the gun against Russia, not just for yourselves, but for all who want freedom. If Russia is not stopped in Ukraine, it will spread all over Eastern Europe, until finally it knocks on the doorstep of a united Germany. Mr. Putin thinks himself the reincarnation of Josef Stalin, and only you can stop him.

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