Mike Rogers: Putin Has Outmaneuvered Obama

Sunday, 16 Mar 2014 02:32 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has outmaneuvered the United States with the crisis in Ukraine, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said Sunday, and the Obama administration should exercise caution over reports that a resolution is being sought.

"Clearly, Putin has had the upper hand in this," the Michigan Republican told CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer Sunday. “We’ve seen this movie before — we should be cautious."

The call, between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, could be an effort to buy more time in connection with Sunday's vote in Crimea to secede from Ukraine.

In addition, said Rogers, news of a resolution could be more proof that Russian President Vladimir Putin is feeling economic pressure, and that Russia's energy-dependent economy may already be struggling because of the Ukrainian situation.

The Obama administration plans to move forward with sanctions against Russia if Putin maintains his stance on Ukraine, a plan Rogers agrees with.

"[Putin] has set the table to his advantage in any kind of negotiation going forward," Rogers said, noting he is concerned about concessions the United States offered during the call between Kerry and Lavrov.

"The fact that we've had a little bit of fraying in our European relationships diplomatically has caused us some real difficulties," said Rogers.

Further, Putin has enjoyed a surge of popularity in Russia over the Ukrainian situation, Rogers said, and he does not expect the Russian leader to back down soon.

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