Ayotte, Schiff back new sanctions on Russia


A Senate Republican and House Democrat on Sunday called for stronger sanctions against Russia as tensions escalate in Ukraine.

“They need to be imposed now,” Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteLewandowski saw no evidence of voter fraud in New Hampshire NH governor 'not aware’ of major voter fraud Former NH AG: 'Allegations of voter fraud in NH are baseless' MORE (R-N.H.) told "Fox News Sunday."

The Obama administration has said it is prepared to intervene with heavier sanctions against Russia if Moscow interferes with Ukraine's election on May 25, but Ayotte called for a more immediate response to the threat from Russian forces.

“At this point, Russia's not getting the message,” Ayotte said. “They're violating this so-called Geneva agreement, and you've got Russian agents in Ukraine, fomenting unrest, causing all the violence, and really creating a situation right now that warrants tougher sanctions by the administration.

“The bottom line is if we wait until the election, it will be too late at that point,” she added. “We already see the playbook of what happened in Crimea happening in eastern Ukraine, and it's time to impose tougher sectoral sanctions to provide support for the Ukrainian military.”

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam SchiffA guide to the committees: House New national security adviser pick marks big change on Russia Trump’s feud with the press in the spotlight MORE (D-Calif.) also called for the Obama administration to “inflict a heavy penalty” on Russia.

“I think we're going to ultimately need stronger sanctions,” Schiff said on "Fox News Sunday."

But Schiff said that if the Obama administration moves forward with more sanctions without support from Europe, they will not be effective.

“The challenge is not getting the administration to go along with stronger sanctions,” Schiff said. “The challenge has been getting our European allies to do exactly that. It's going to affect their economy much more than ours. And any sectoral sanctions that we administer without the Europeans aren't going to be effective.”