5 Steps Government Officials Are Considering To Deal With The Situation In Ukraine


As a tense situation continued to unfold in Ukraine on Sunday, the major Sunday talk shows brought on Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as other government officials, to discuss whether there should be any U.S. involvement here over Russia’s decision to send troops into the semi-autonomous region of Crimea and, if so, what that could look like.

While ThinkProgress on Saturday laid out five potential non-war options that the U.S. could seek to deal with the situation, more options — some fairly contentious — arose as a result of discussions on the Sunday shows.

Here’s a look at the ideas that U.S. government officials from both sides of the aisle are entertaining to deal with the situation in Ukraine:

1. Removing Russia from the G-8, taking the next G-8 meeting out of Sochi

Secretary of State John Kerry: “[Putin] is not going to have a Sochi G-8. He may not even remain in the G-8 if this continues.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “How about this — suspend Russian membership in the G-8 and the G-20 at least for a year starting right now. For every day that they stay in Crimea, add to the suspension.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL): “This notion of taking him out of the G-8 has already been suggested by the administration. And I think it is the right thing do.”

2. Expanding and strengthening NATO

Sen. Graham: “Let’s accelerate Georgia’s admission into NATO. Moldova is under siege by Russia. let’s help Moldova. Let’s protect from a rogue missile attack coming out of the middle east. If i were President Obama, I would reengage Poland and the Czech Republic regarding missile defense. I would add Georgia to NATO. I’d have a larger military presence in the Balkans to NATO members who are threatened by Russia. I would fly the NATO flag as strongly as i could around Putin.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): “I am saying however that our NATO alliance needs to be reinvigorated, is an important alliance. Countries that neighbor Ukraine, for example, Poland and others who had part of that alliance I think we need to be providing them assurances of the importance of this alliance, including perhaps — in fact I think we should revisit the missile missile defense shield we talked about so often.”

3. Freezing business with Russia, blocking Russian visas

Sec. Kerry: “There could even be ultimately asset freezes, visa bans, there could be certainly disruption of any of the normal trade routine. Snd there could be business drawback on investment in the country…. [Putin] may find himself with asset freezes on Russian business, American business may pull back. There may be a further tumble of the Ruble. There’s a huge price to pay.”

Sen. Rubio: “Any and all discussions and negotiations with Moscow on any issue unrelated to this crisis, including trade and other matters, should be immediately suspended…. the Obama administration should immediately add more Russian officials to the Magnitsky list, which places travel bans and other sanctions on them – something President Obama failed to do in December. Living in Miami, I have seen in recent years the wave of Russian tourists coming to our city and state to spend money and buy property. Many are government officials or allies whose wealth stems from allegiance to Putin, and we should limit their ability to travel here.”

4. Helping Ukraine Secure Funding

Sen. Durbin: “What Congress has to do, what the Senate should do quickly is a resolution condemning what Putin has done and second, saying that if Ukraine will stand up for real reform, that we’re going to back them through the IMF, and making it clear to our allies in NATO that that alliance is strong.”

Sec. Kerry: “We would call on Congress immediately to the degree that they are prepared to be helpful, that they immediately lay down with us an economic package in order to assist Ukraine.”

5. Bolstering the missile defense of Ukraine

Sen. Rubio: “I would say that as part of strengthening and stabilizing the government in Kiev now, so that they can transition to stability down the road as well, I think part of that should be strengthening their defense capabilities. Because I think this threat is a long term one that they’re facing.”

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