By Peter Schroeder - 03/17/14 07:35 AM EDT
Top members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday that the U.S. needed to show strength and long-term resolve in pushing back against Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the head of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that, without a united global response, Russian President Vladimir Putin would push as far as he could to amass power.
“Putin only understands strength,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Menendez said the U.S. is prepared to enact “very robust sanctions” against Russia if it agrees to annex Crimea, a Russian-speaking section of Ukraine that is expected to vote in a Sunday referendum to secede from Ukraine. U.S. officials, including President Obama, have already called the vote illegitimate, and the senators said Russia would face consequences if they annexed the region.
“If they move towards that goal, then I think ultimately the sanctions need to be enforced along with our European allies,” said Menendez.
Read more from The Hill.