John McCain spoke about the crisis in the Ukraine with CBS Face the Nation yesterday. He was full of advice for both US President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin. McCain had this to say to Putin:
“If I were Vladimir Putin today at the end of the Olympics, I’d be a little bit nervous because the people of Russia have watched this transpire and they’re tired of the crony capitalism and kleptocracy that governs Russia today. If I were him, I’d be a little bit nervous.”
The Ukraine, a former part of the Soviet Union, continues to be one of Russia’s most important economic and military partners. McCain pointed out the importance of the Russian naval facility at Sevastopol, while also making clear that he believed any division of the Ukraine should be considered unacceptable by the United States.
John McCain has also had plenty to say about the way US President Barack Obama has handled the situation in the Ukraine. A CBS News report quotes McCain calling President Obama “the most naive president in history” because of his dealings with Russia during the Ukrainian riots and uprising. The report also quotes McCain’s belief that US involvement in the Ukraine will likely be necessary:
“This thing could easily spiral out of control into a major international crisis. The first thing we need to do is impose sanctions on those people who are in leadership positions. Watch Putin after the Olympics are over. He may try — and I emphasize may — try to have some partition of…Ukraine. Putin believes Ukraine is an integral part of Russia. He will not go quietly into the night about when Ukraine moves into the European orbit, so to say.”
This comes amidst rising concerns in the United States that President Barack Obama is not respected by other major world leaders.
McCain, who has been a strong supporter of the popular uprising, visited Ukrainian protesters in Kiev in December.
McCain correctly pointed out that the crisis in the Ukraine stems from the desire of much of the country – including the protestors, who have gained control of the nation’s capitol – wants to align themselves with the European Union and the West, while the president – who recently fled the capitol – and some of the population of Eastern Ukraine wants to maintain close ties with Russia.
Politicoreports that the senator from Arizona and former presidential candidate has said that the US should not intervene militarily. However, John McCain said, “The Ukrainian people will determine their own future. They want to be Western…they do not want to be Eastern,” indicating his stance that the Russians should also stay out of the Ukraine’s military situation.