WASHINGTON - Citing the ineffectiveness of limited U.S. sanctions to deter Russia from their continued interference in Ukraine, U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Obama administration doesn’t appear to be doing anything to prevent Russia from interfering with Ukraine’s presidential election on May 25.
“It’s very frustrating…to see what Russia’s doing inside Ukraine, for Russia to be making statements that they’ve moved troops away [from the Ukrainian border] when we know that they haven’t, [and] for them to continue to foment problems inside the country as we sort of race in almost a game of chicken between now and May 25th when the election takes place,” said Corker during a committee hearing today. “It doesn’t appear that [the U.S. is] doing anything. It looks like Putin is doing a whole lot. And it’s very disturbing to me to know that we’re in a position as a nation where we’re unwilling to prevent the kind of behavior that Russia’s putting forth. And I know that many people on both sides of the aisle share those same frustrations.”
Senator Corker and 24 Senate Republicans have offered legislation providing a strategic U.S. response to Russian aggression in Europe, which threatens regional security and prosperity that is critical for maintaining economic growth in the United States. In addition to strengthening NATO and supporting non-NATO allies of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, the bill imposes tough sanctions on Russia, including four key Russian banks: Sberbank, VTB Bank, VEB Bank, Gazprombank, as well as on Gazprom, Novatek and Rosneft energy monopolies, and Rosoboronexport, the major Russian arms dealer.