McCain: Sanctions won't stop Putin

 

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainConservative group cuts ties with Michelle Malkin Democratic debate at Tyler Perry's could miss the mark with black voters Donald Trump's 2020 election economic gamble MORE (R-Ariz.) suggested Tuesday that the sanctions the United States and Europe have imposed on Russia are not going to deter aggression from Moscow. 

“They're not going to do it,” he said during an interview on the radio show “Imus in the Morning" that was simulcast on Fox Business Network.

McCain explained that Europe is hesitant to punish Russia even more because of its dependence on Russian oil. The U.S., he suggested, could set up a long-term program to transfer energy to Europe to help it achieve energy independence. But McCain said he doubts Europe would be open to such an offer. 

“Don't expect anything out of the Europeans in response to this, and it may encourage Vladimir to more adventuresome behavior,” he said. 

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Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFormer US envoy Samantha Power: Trump finding 'new ways to compensate Putin for election interference' Overnight Defense: Ex-Ukraine ambassador offers dramatic day of testimony | Talks of 'crisis' at State Department | Trump tweets criticism of envoy during hearing | Dems warn against 'witness intimidation' | Trump defends his 'freedom of speech' Highly irregular: Rudy, the president, and a venture in Ukraine MORE might also have his mind set on acquiring even more territory in other parts of Ukraine, Moldova or the Baltic states, McCain said. 

On the other hand, McCain said he thinks Putin is weighing the “cost-benefit” of moving further into Eastern Europe. 

“I think maybe what he's doing now is keeping this buildup and then probably draw back and everybody will heave a sigh of relief and accept a fait accompli of a Russian takeover of Crimea,” McCain said.

Right now, he said, the U.St. is in a tough position to try and stop Putin from going any further. 

“Right now, our options are not very good,” said McCain, who has been pushing the Obama administration to provide military assistance to Ukraine. 

McCain reasserted his attack against President Obama’s handling of the crisis, arguing that Obama’s “total misreading of Vladimir Putin” led to Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine last week.

“This is the result of that treatment,” he said.