McCain: Sanctions won't stop Putin


Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLessons of the Kamala Harris campaign Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases Top Armed Services Democrat scolds military leaders on Trump's intervention in war crimes cases 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. 


Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinOPEC meetings may provide economic answers — or just more questions Germany expels two Russian diplomats following slaying in Berlin Putin signs crackdown on foreign-sponsored journalists 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.