Kinzinger: 'Reset' is Over, Russia is a 'Pariah State'

Image: Kinzinger: 'Reset' is Over, Russia is a 'Pariah State'

Sunday, 02 Mar 2014 12:58 PM

By Greg Richter

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Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week shows that America's "reset" with its old Cold War enemy is over, says Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

Appearing Sunday on ABC's "This Week," the Illinois Republican predicted the GOP-controlled House of Representatives would be "very cooperative" with administration efforts to reign in Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Secretary of State John Kerry appeared earlier on the program, saying the White House would likely be requesting economic sanctions if Russia refuses to pull troops out of the Crimea area. Kerry also talked of kicking Russia out of the G8 and refusing to attend this year's meeting in Sochi, Russia.

Great Britain already has pulled out of preparatory talks, and France has called for suspending preparations for the meeting.

But Kinzinger also suggested something loathe to the Russians: Consider adding Georgia to NATO. Russia invaded the former Soviet republic of Georgia in 2008 and still has troops there.

Many in Ukraine also want closer ties to the West, but ethnic Russians want to remain allied with Russia. Pro-western protests last month led to the ouster of pro-Putin President Viktor Yanukovych.

Congress may not be able to respond militarily, Kinzinger told ABC, but it will make it clear that "Russia is a pariah state" — not just for the next year, but for the next decade or two.

The "reset" to which Kinzinger referred is a symbolic "button" presented by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in 2009. It was intended to reset relations with America's Cold War adversary.

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