Since the beginning of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, R-Indiana, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has publicly opposed Russia’s actions.
This morning, he published an opinion piece on CNN further condemning Russia’s invasion of Crimea.
We are ignoring the lessons of history that demonstrate how unusual and unacceptable invasion and annexation are in the post-World War II era.
Russia has unleashed a process of domination and annexation that will lead to territorial acquisition by force. Although this has been roundly condemned rhetorically by many world leaders, including our own, the paltry international response thus far indicates that this aggression is not being taken seriously enough.
We do not live in a Napoleonic age when force of arms determines boarders. The United Nations has codified the modern view of the international community — a view that utterly rejects ancient practices of conquest by force.
Earlier today President Obama announced further sanctions against President Vladimir Putin, his allies, and a Russian bank as punishment for the invasion. Obama also signed an executive order that allows the U.S. to issue sanctions against portions of Russia’s economy.
Russia responded with sanctions against nine U.S. officials, including Coats.
“While I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to go on vacation with my family in Siberia this summer, I am honored to be on the list,” Coats said in a statement. “Putin’s recent aggression is unacceptable, and America must join with our European allies to isolate and punish Russia. I will continue to lead efforts on Capitol Hill to bring Putin to his senses.”
The sanctions also apply to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona.