Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, one of the Obama administration's foremost critics on its approach to the crisis in Ukraine, released a list of 11 specific steps he thinks the administration should take to further punish Russia on Tuesday.
McCain's statement came on the heels of the administration's announcement of sanctions on seven Russian individuals and four Ukrainians the White House described as "cronies" of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. McCain and other Republicans have criticized the administration's approach as too soft, but the Arizona Senator has been one of the few to offer specific ideas for additional steps the White House could take to push back against Putin.
McCain urged President Barack Obama to expand the sanctions and provide increased aid to Ukraine. He also called on Congress to pass a bill to change the International Monetary Fund to help direct aid to the Ukraine. The IMF bill stalled in the Senate last week due to Republican opposition, which prompted McCain to lash out at his colleagues . McCain also said the U.S. should increase oil and natural gas exports to European allies who rely on Russia for those natural resources.
Here are McCain's 11 steps:
- Pass the bipartisan legislation that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved last week, which authorizes $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine, democracy and security assistance for Ukraine, targeted sanctions against Russian officials, and steps to strengthen the IMF’s ability to be a stronger partner to Ukraine.
- “Work with NATO to rush plane-loads of food and other humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian soldiers and civilians in eastern Ukraine.
- “Work through the OSCE to approve and deploy a large civilian monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine that could help set the record straight about alleged threats to ethnic Russians and reveal Putin's effort to inflame the situation as a pretext for further aggression.
- “Rush the modest military assistance to the Ukrainian government that its leaders have requested, including some small arms and ammunition, as well as significant non-lethal assistance, such as protective equipment, spare parts, fuel, and sharing of intelligence.
- “Work with NATO and other partners to support the Ukrainian government in designing and resourcing a long-term assistance program to rebuild and reform Ukraine’s military.
- “Enhance NATO's force presence, security cooperation, and military exercises, especially in Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries.
- “Work within NATO to take all necessary steps that can prepare for the expansion of the alliance to include countries such as Georgia and Montenegro as soon as possible.
- “Expand significantly the U.S. and E.U. targeted sanctions against the most corrupt Russian government officials, companies, and financial institutions.
- “Use the Magnitsky Act to sanction additional Russian officials for their gross violations of human rights.
- “Take more assertive steps to isolate Russia internationally, including by repeated votes in the U.N. Security Council and a G-7 boycott of the G-8 Summit in Sochi.
- “Take steps to permit and enhance the exportation of U.S. oil and natural gas, especially to NATO allies and other European partners, in order to decrease Europe's reliance on Russian supplies of energy.
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