New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte is calling for tougher action against Russia for annexing Crimea.
Ayotte made her comments on “Face the Nation” while on a congressional mission to Kiev. She said she “appreciates” the Obama Administration’s targeted sanctions on President Vladimir Putin’s allies and a key Russian bank. But that the U-S should impose broader sanctions across all economic sectors. Calling the Russian economy “a one-trick pony” dependent on oil and natural gas, she said focusing on energy would hurt the most.
“We need him to understand that the sanctions that we put in place can have a significant impact on his economy, that we need to deter further action from him," Ayotte said. "And understand who he is: a former KGB colonel, he is a bully, and bullies only understand when we punch them in the nose. But we need to do that economically. That is our strongest move at this point.”
Although she said she doesn’t “see boots on the ground at this point,” Ayotte also called for increased military aid to Ukraine. She said that could include “communications equipment, technical assistance,” and fulfilling the country’s request for small arms. She also called on increasing the presence of NATO in the region.