President Barack Obama's additional sanctions against Russia are not having any real impact, says Rep. Doug Collins, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"This is just another problem with a president who absolutely lacks a foreign policy, [is] always reacting to the world, and, basically, it doesn't have the effect that he's intended. I mean, it looks good, he can do a sound bite for it. But we want… to see our president act strongly; however, this president just seems to not do that," the Georgia Republican told Newsmax TV's John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum" Friday.
"We need to be attacking what really hurts, and if we want to attack what really hurts let's get at the energy sector coming out of Russia because that's the real economic engine. If we start attacking there, Putin's, at least, has got to take a step back and say, hey, maybe, for real, this president's actually for real when he wants to do something."
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Asked about the inevitable time frame for being able to get liquefied natural gas to European nations to compete with Russia, Collins replied, "It's a natural progression. It's something we should've been doing all along. Instead of, seemingly, this administration taking its cues from Putin and doing what they would like, whether it be missile defense or other areas. We've known this situation has been developing a long time. We've watched it when they've turned off the gas before. We should've been working ahead.
"So now, yes, there's going to be an inevitable lag time in trying to get this up. But the other thing is if we don't start now building up our resources so we can export this, then we're just talking more time down the road and that's just simply not a good strategy."
Collins represents Georgia's 9th congressional district. Before being elected in 2012, he was a state legislator in the Georgia House of Representatives. He also serves as a Chaplain (Major) in the U.S. Air Force Reserves.
Collins said he did not support Obama's decision not to install missiles in Eastern Europe. "In fact, to be honest, what he did was is he misread the situation, as he has often done in foreign policy, whether it be on Iran or Syria or other places. He went ahead and took the cue from 'if I was nice to Putin, Putin will be nice to me,'" he said.
"World history has shown that those are not the way you deal with folks who are in a situation, especially what perceives to be a megalomaniac like Putin, who just simply wants to go back to a world that doesn't exist. We definitely need to get involved with those countries that are friendly to us and put that marker down to say this is where we're going to stand and we're going to confront you at every turn."
As for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's assurance to Washington that troops that are massing on its border with Ukraine are not going to invade that country, Collins maintained it has zero credibility.
"That's like, are you kidding me? I mean, this was building up on the Crimean border and then all of a sudden they just decided to disregard international norms and go in. At this point in time, there is nothing in dealing with troops or troop movements that I would trust," he said.
"They have not been forthcoming, they've hidden an agenda, and this is something that if we take this and say, well, see, they're trying to be nice, we're putting ourselves in a terrible position. And it's not a matter of what they say. It's what they do."
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