McCain: Restart Missile Defense in Czech Republic, Poland

Image: McCain: Restart Missile Defense in Czech Republic, Poland

Monday, 10 Mar 2014 12:25 PM

By Wanda Carruthers

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The United States should respond to the Russian invasion of Crimea by restarting a missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland that President Barack Obama canceled in 2009, said Sen. John McCain.

"Restart the missile defense system that Obama canceled in order to placate Putin in the Czech Republic and Poland," the Arizona Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" on Monday.

McCain said he had predicted the Russian takeover of Crimea, and explained he was now worried about eastern Ukraine, since Russian President Vladimir Putin "has been so successful." He suggested other ways for the United States to respond to the Russian threat.

"Have military exercises with our Baltic friends. They're under enormous pressure from Putin. Bring Georgia and Moldova, both parts of which are occupied by Russia today, into NATO. And do it quickly," he said.

Sanctions that would prevent Russian oligarchs from traveling also would have an effect, McCain suggested.

"I guarantee you, if they can't go to London with their kids, and do all the things they can do, it can be extremely harmful," he said.

McCain said he saw no military options for the United States. He explained that the manner in which Putin took control of Crimea fit a familiar formula.

"This is the old ploy. Take over a country. Have a referendum. Ninety percent approval," he said.

The Russian takeover of Crimea was a "blatant violation" of the Budapest Memorandum, between the Ukraine and the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia in 1994, McCain explained.

He said the treaty "guaranteed Crimea as part of Ukraine, and the territorial integrity of Ukraine."

Despite Putin's actions, the United States should "respond and respond vigorously," McCain said. He also suggested that the United States conduct a "fundamental reassessment of our relationship with Vladimir Putin."


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