Corker on Fox News Sunday: Missile Strike on Malaysian Airliner Should “Galvanize” U.S. and International Community to Make Putin Pay for “This Outrageous Act”
CHATTANOOGA, TENN. – Appearing on Fox News Sunday today, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the missile strike on a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine should “galvanize” the U.S. and the international community to finally make Russian President Vladimir Putin pay for his role in supporting pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine.
“I’ve been incredibly discouraged by not only the U.S. response but candidly Europe’s response [to Russia’s role in Ukraine],” said Corker. “I don't know how anybody can say our response has been anything but timid and cautious. Hopefully on the positive side this will galvanize the international community to take the kind of steps that should have been taken months ago to push back on Putin and cause him to pay the kind of price that he should pay for this outrageous act,” he added.
Corker also called for additional sanctions on Iran if the extension of nuclear negotiations doesn’t lead to a final agreement that keeps Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
“I’m concerned about the gaps that exist from what I think is a good deal and where we are today. But look, all diplomatic efforts should be put in place…I want Congress to weigh in. I want to see tougher sanctions put in place in the event we don’t reach an agreement this go around. We should be real clear there will be no more extensions,” said Corker. “I'm still hopeful that somehow, despite a very, very bad start, almost agreeing to enrichment on the front end…that we may get to a place that really does limit their ability [to develop a nuclear weapon],” continued Corker.
In April, Senator Corker introduced legislation as a strategic response to Russian aggression in Europe that would strengthen the NATO alliance, impose tough sanctions to deter further Russian aggression, and provide support to non-NATO partners of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
He also introduced legislation in November 2013 to enforce Iran’s compliance with the interim deal and lay out the terms of an acceptable final agreement. Those terms, along with a mechanism for a joint resolution of disapproval by Congress, were later incorporated into the Menendez-Kirk Iran sanctions bill, of which Senator Corker is a cosponsor. Additionally, Corker drafted an amendment this year to ensure Congress has the opportunity to have a say over any final deal with Iran.