Pelosi: Obama can’t control Putin

Neither President Obama nor any other world leader can sway the mind of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“Putin is going to do what Putin is going to do,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

Obama’s foreign policy strategy has been attacked in recent weeks, with some accusing him of doing too little to stymie Russian intervention in Ukraine, where ongoing violence this month included the deaths of hundreds aboard a passenger jetliner. The U.S. has said Russia is at least indirectly responsible for that attack.

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“As far as Putin is concerned, he’s a KGB guy who happens to be the president of Russia and he’s going to do what he’s going to do, no matter who else is in charge any place else in the word,” Pelosi said. “I would not judge his actions or his motivations by anything other than he is rooted in a KGB [mindset], insecure about Russia’s diminished role in the world.”

The U.S. has launched a set of sanctions against Russia and tried to rally countries around the world to follow suit, but Moscow has not backed off its support of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's east.

Speaking on the same CNN show, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said those sanctions “clearly are not working” and accused Obama of being “AWOL.”

Ongoing violence in Gaza and the rise of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which has gained ground amid a power vacuum in those countries, only makes clear the costs of a weakened U.S., he added.  

“Passive responses to naked aggression all over the world is our foreign policy,” Graham said. “Without American leadership, the world has become a very dangerous place and our allies like Israel and Ukraine suffer.”