U.S. lawmakers are showing a "lack of appreciation for what is going on" in Ukraine as they consider a response to the Russian invasion of Crimea, Sen. John McCain said Wednesday.
The debate in Congress has centered on political, economic, or military responses to Russian President Vladimir Putin's aggression in Ukraine. McCain said he felt it was misguided to focus on hurting Russia through reforms to the International Monetary Fund over providing military aid to Ukraine.
"Congress has a role. And right now they are not playing, in my view," the Arizona Republican told Fox News' "Happening Now." They "are showing a lack of appreciation for what is going on."
"I'm a little embarrassed, frankly, by some of my Republican [colleagues'] attitude of placing a higher priority on IMF reform over sending a signal and providing the assistance that Ukraine needs, including military assistance," he added.
McCain described President Barack Obama's call for economic sanctions against several Russian officials "weak," and credited it with boosting Russia's economy and currency.
"As a result of how weak the response has been, the ruble has been strengthened, and the Russian stock market went up," McCain said.
McCain said the U.S. response should take into account the fact that President Vladimir Putin is a "very aggressive KGB colonel that wants to restore the Russian Empire."
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