April 25, 2014

Corker: Putin Only Emboldened by Obama Administration's Empty Rhetoric on New Sanctions

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today made the following statement regarding the Obama administration's failure to enforce the threat of new sanctions despite Russia's continued interference in eastern Ukraine and refusal to take any steps to implement the Geneva agreement that was supposed to de-escalate the crisis.

"President Putin is only emboldened by empty rhetoric, so it is time for the administration to back up their talk by immediately putting in place tough sanctions against Russian banks and energy companies," said Corker. "Right now, the feeling on the ground is that Putin is more committed to the failure of Ukraine’s struggling democracy than the West is to its success, and only forceful and immediate action like this can begin to change that dynamic.

"In addition, the United States must develop a long-term strategy to counter Russian aggression in Europe since the impact of Putin's interference extends far beyond Ukraine."‎

Senator Corker returned Thursday from a four-day visit to Moldova and Ukraine to assess firsthand the situation on the ground since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and continued destabilizing involvement in eastern Ukraine and throughout the region.