News / USA

McCain Urges 'Crushing' Sanctions for Russia, Arms for Ukraine

U.S. Senator John McCain speaks during a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sept. 4, 2014.
U.S. Senator John McCain speaks during a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Sept. 4, 2014.
Daniel Schearf

An influential member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John McCain, has urged leaders of NATO countries to arm Ukraine to defend itself against what he says is a clear Russian invasion. The outspoken Republican said they should also impose “crushing” sanctions against Moscow to check Russian aggression.

Senator McCain had blunt words Thursday for Western leaders reluctant to call Russia's actions in Ukraine an “invasion.”

After meeting with Ukrainian leaders in Kyiv, McCain said failing to clearly label it so means living in Russian President Vladimir Putin's world.

"It was argued for months that providing arms and greater assistance to Ukraine could provoke a Russian invasion; but now, Ukraine is being invaded anyway, showing that the real provocation for Putin has been the perception of Western weakness," he said.

While evidence continues to mount of Russian weapons, hardware and troops backing up rebels in Ukraine, many Western leaders avoid using the stark term "invasion."  Leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, instead call Russia's actions an "incursion" or "violation of sovereignty."

They also are reluctant to provide arms to support Ukraine's military, even though it has lost ground to the Russia-backed separatists in recent weeks.
For its part, Moscow continues to deny supporting the rebels materially, while giving sympathy and moral support to their calls for autonomy from Kyiv.

McCain said Putin's appetite only grows, and that the Russian leader will keep taking more until he faces a consequence he is unwilling to incur.

"Vladimir Putin wants to restore the old Russian empire.  He cannot stand a free, democratic, prosperous Ukraine, because sooner or later the people of Russia would want to have that kind of lifestyle as well," he said.

The senator urged Western leaders meeting in Wales for the NATO summit to provide weapons and intelligence to Ukraine and impose "crushing" sanctions against Russia.

Russia's deputy prime minister, Dmitry Rogozin, sent out a tweet calling McCain an “arms baron” for urging American weapons for Ukraine.

Several key European countries, including Germany, oppose providing Ukraine with weapons, but are considering new sanctions against Russia.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More