Dem: Russia not sticking to Ukraine deal

Russian officials are not following through with the terms of a tentative agreement to deescalate tensions in Ukraine, and the U.S. needs to prepare for the worst, a lawmaker said after visiting the region.

"I don't think Russia is following through," said Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffCongress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama New York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff The Hill's Morning Report — Sanders, Dems zero in on Super Tuesday MORE (D-Calif.) on CNN on Saturday.


"It's hard for me, given the Russian secret service presence there, given how many of the people are carrying Russian arms, operating according to a Russian playbook, that Russia doesn't have a greater say in telling them to stand down," he said.

The agreement reached last week called for the U.S., European Union, Ukraine and Russia to refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions, and for "illegal armed groups" to be disarmed. It also called for illegally seized buildings and occupied public spaces to be returned to their owners.

However, there were more clashes between Ukraine forces and the armed protestors over the weekend, breaking an Easter holiday truce.

Schiff, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, called last week's agreement "a pause to take a breath" and "a positive, but probably a small positive."

"I think we still need to prepare for the worst, which means that we need to try to line up our European allies for very strong sector-wide sanctions if Russia moves," he said.

Schiff also called for the U.S. to base more U.S. assets in the reion, in addition to holding military exercises, to reassure NATO allies.

"The military exercises are a very good idea," he said. "They're not so large that they're going to cause the Russians to escalate, but I think we will need to do more along those lines."

The Pentagon said the U.S. was considering a range of options to further bolster its military presence in Poland, and that the options included "some level of ground force training and exercises."

The decision will be announced within "the coming days," said Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren.