John Bolton: US Needs to Treat Russia as Adversary After Plane Crash

Friday, 18 Jul 2014 10:38 AM

By Melanie Batley

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The crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, and Russia's possible involvement in it, "should be a wake-up call" for the United States, John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Fox News.

Speaking on "The Kelly File" on Thursday, Bolton said, "We've got to begin to treat Russia like the adversary that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is currently demonstrating it to be."

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"I think the issue is what this tragedy demonstrates about the nature of the Russian regime under Putin, and the way Russia has conducted its business over the past ten years," Bolton said. "And I think it should be a wake-up call not simply in the context of the conflict in Ukraine, but for the United States and Europe generally about what Russia's up to and how we should respond.”

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine earlier this year. Ukraine is now fighting pro-Russian rebels. The Malaysia Airlines flight was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was brought down over Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile, according to U.S. intelligence authorities. The Ukraine and Russian government as well as the rebels all denied shooting down the plane.

Bolton criticized what he called President Barack Obama's "policy of appeasement" with Russia and said the United States, Europe and NATO need to go well beyond the sanctions policies and start re-establishing missile defense programs in Poland and the Czech Republic.

"While I don't think anybody could have foreseen this specific tragedy, it is entirely understandable that something like this has happened because of the way Putin has perceived American weakness," he said.

"I think we’ve got to change both the reality and the perception of that, we need to bring the Europeans along, we need some leadership. I don’t see it at the moment."

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