Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 29, 2015

Republicans Warn of ‘Dark and Dangerous’ Future if Putin Isn’t Confronted on Ukraine (Video)

Ayotte, McCain and Graham (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ayotte, McCain and Graham (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama on Thursday dismissed any suggestion of military intervention to address Russia’s further incursion into Ukrainian territory, as Republican lawmakers renewed calls for stronger action.

“We are not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem. What we’re doing is to mobilize the international community to apply pressure on Russia,” Obama said. “But I think it is very important to recognize that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming.”

Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina warned of a “dark and dangerous” future if Russia and President Vladimir Putin are not confronted about the action in Ukraine.

“Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine can only be called one thing: a cross-border military invasion. To claim it is anything other than that is to inhabit President Putin’s Orwellian universe,” Graham and McCain said in their latest joint statement.

“This is a moment to speak and act with clarity. A sovereign nation in the heart of Europe is being invaded by its larger neighbor. This runs completely contrary to the civilized world that America and our partners have sought to build since World War II,” the senators said. “If we will not or cannot defend our own values now, as well as friends who share them, the future will be dark and dangerous indeed, not just for Ukraine but for us too.”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who is generally like-minded with Graham and McCain on foreign policy, issued her own statement also calling for additional action against Russia.

“Moscow’s invasion and major escalation in Ukraine demands a strong and immediate response. I call on the President to immediately impose tougher sanctions against Russia and provide the Ukrainian government the weapons they need and have long requested to defend Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the New Hampshire Republican said.

Obama did highlight, ahead of NATO meetings, U.S. obligations to other countries in the region that are members of the security alliance.

“Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but a number of those states that are close by are. And we take our Article 5 commitments to defend each other very seriously, and that includes the smallest NATO member, as well as the largest NATO member,” Obama said. “And so part of the reason I think this NATO meeting is going to be so important is to refocus attention on the critical function that NATO plays to make sure that every country is contributing in order to deliver on the promise of our Article 5 assurances. Part of the reason I’ll be going to Estonia is to let the Estonians know that we mean what we say with respect to our treaty obligations.”

Before Obama’s remarks, House Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon of California and fellow GOP Rep. Michael R. Turner called for him “to definitively state whether or not Russia has invaded Ukraine.”

“If reports prove accurate that Putin has in fact sent over 1,000 troops into Ukraine to support and fight alongside Russian-backed separatists, this is an act of war against the sovereign state of Ukraine,” the House members said.

Comments (51)

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  1. Jimmy Bonds

    Aug. 28, 2014
    6:08 p.m.

    Yep, it’s war. Yep, Obama is officially worse than Jimmy Carter ever was. And while Bill Clinton was no war hawk, that man did a much better job in office in one year than Obama ever has. Now if his wife get the job…World War 3 is on us and we are all dead. Her foreign policy screw ups match Obama’s and to even imply that a USA President should not have a strong foreign policy, or should walk away from wars won too early IS Obama’s unraveling. History will show he never had the skills to hold the post. History will shame him.

    • Layla

      Aug. 29, 2014
      7:27 a.m.

      Hillary’s “foreign poicy” has created the mess we see in the middle east presently. She has armed all our enemies. History will shame both.

    • LizardLizard

      Sept. 1, 2014
      5:34 a.m.

      His university grades were average? You know this how?

      • richard40

        Sept. 2, 2014
        5:54 p.m.

        If they were good, Obama would have released them. He has never been shy about bragging on any of his few positive achievements. With Obama no news means failure.

  2. junior

    Aug. 31, 2014
    9:09 a.m.

    So the west helped overthrow a democratically elected government, has condemned the Crimea election to secede as “Russian aggression”, has ignored the eastern Ukrainian vote for independence, has financed war in the eastern Ukraine (with train stations, airports, factories and water-treatment plants being bombed – which has led to humanitarian crisis which is being ignored by the West), and now beats the war drums? Friggin’ American media.

    • richard40

      Sept. 2, 2014
      5:52 p.m.

      Friggin pro Putin propaganda on your part. Russia is dismembering a neighboring country, it is indeed Russian agression, no need for the scare quotes.

  3. LizardLizard

    Sept. 1, 2014
    5:33 a.m.

    I understand the Chamberlain Society has just given Obama its coveted Golden Umbrella Prize.

  4. richard40

    Sept. 2, 2014
    5:50 p.m.

    The call for arms aid to Ukraine, and tougher sanctions, is a good one. Another thing we should get is a NATO agreement that any Russian attack against NATO members like the Baltic states and Poland will lead to NATO military intervention in their defense, and back that up with some troops from every nation deployed to Poland.

  5. jeaniansimard

    Nov. 5, 2014
    12:23 p.m.

    two months later…the republicans are on top of the world today with the vote passing the reing of the house to them!!Putin watch out we`re comming

  6. Julea

    Feb. 9, 2015
    3:49 p.m.

    McCain is a psychopath, and all those who follow his lead. Americans must NOT get involved in this war between Ukraine and Russia. This is a war that is not yours to fight. And if you continue on this trajectory, the America will be responsible for triggering the next World War. We do NOT want america to sanction Russia, we want america and the west to sanction every islamic country with no trade or aid and isolate them until they have sorted our their internal islamic tribal problems. Buy gas and oil from Russia, not the muslims who are using this money to wage their evil jihad on the kaffirs world wide on every conceivable level.

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