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U.S. Senators Urge Trump To Take Tough Line On Russia

Congress Headlines Politics Reuters Russia

U.S. Senators Urge Trump To Take Tough Line On Russia

Tough line on russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bipartisan group of 27 U.S. senators sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday urging him to take a tough line against Russia over what they termed its “military land grab” in Ukraine.

The letter, whose 12 Republican and 15 Democratic signatories included some leading foreign policy voices from Trump’s Republican party, was an early sign that lawmakers will publicly assert themselves on international matters where they disagree with his White House.

The New York property developer becomes president on Jan. 20.

Trump signaled during his campaign that he might take a softer line in dealings with Moscow, repeatedly praising Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leadership. Putin said recently Trump confirmed to him that he was willing to mend ties.

“In light of Russia’s continued aggression and repeated refusal to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereign right to choose its own destiny, we also renew our call for the United States to increase political, economic and military support for Ukraine,” said the letter, led by Senators Richard Durbin, a Democrat, and Rob Portman, a Republican, who are co-chairmen of the Senate Ukraine caucus.

In the letter, seen by Reuters before its public release, the senators also said they believe Russia’s annexation of Crimea should not be accepted and the United States should not lift sanctions imposed on Russia for its behavior in eastern Ukraine.

President Barack Obama and Putin have had a challenging relationship, with stark differences over Russia’s actions in Ukraine and Syria. Tensions have risen more with Obama’s Democratic Party in particular over cyber attacks attributed to Russia during the U.S. presidential election.

Among Republican senators who signed the letter were John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Lindsey Graham, head of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the State Department.

A majority of Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including ranking Democrat Ben Cardin, signed the letter. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on Senate Armed Services, also did so.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell)

IMAGE: U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) (C) talks with reporters after the weekly Democratic caucus policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. December 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst


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  1. Budjob December 8, 2016

    Yeah Trump,get real tough with your buddy Putin.Press the button.It doesn’t matter if you do,because when you and the rest of your fascist/Nazi regime get done with us,there won’t be any United States of America left!

    1. Wolfesgang December 9, 2016

      This is exactly the kind of fear-mongering job being done by Putin’s trolls and bots. Putin is in no position to blow up the U.S. unless he is utterly suicidal.

      1. Budjob December 9, 2016

        I would assume it is called “mutual destruction”!

        1. Wolfesgang December 10, 2016

          If Putin indeed feels utterly suicidal, it will be difficult to stop him from the outside anyway. Otherwise, he is only the president of a vast, largely underdeveloped country that has nothing constructive to offer. Lying, trolling, and cheating have long become its major national and international activities (just see the new WADA anti-doping report that reveals Russian government-induced sports fraud on an unprecedented scale).

  2. johninPCFL December 9, 2016

    Of COURSE he’s looking to mend ties. His hotels, er..I mean his kids’ hotels in Russia are on the line! That’s MILLIONS of dollars ferchrissakes! Whatsamatah wit dat?
    In other news this morning, Agent Orange announced that he will not give up his producer’s role on Celebrity Apprentice next season. He’s got to have something to do during the day while Pence sits in the Oval Office.

    1. Mama Bear December 9, 2016

      All distractions while Pence guts the rights of women, gays, and immigrants.

  3. Dominick Vila December 9, 2016

    Judging by Trump’s statements during the past year or so, the most likely outcome is that he will follow the old adage: if you can’t beat them, join them. With Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime within days of claiming victory in Syria, the big loser is the USA…and the pathetic rebels we trained and armed whose future is limited to exile or death.
    There is a better chance of Trump joining forces with Russia to finish the job in Iraq and Afghanistan, than him opposing Vladimir’s ambitious agenda in the Persian Gulf, the Middle East, and North Africa.

  4. Walter December 9, 2016

    These senators are part of the “establishment” that Trump wants to clean out of the swamp. We as Americans need a friendly relationship with Russia for the good of both nations. Who in their right mind wants confrontation with a country that has thousands of nuclear weapons. Russians and Ukrainians are one and the same people SLAVIC ORTHODOX with a common history.

    1. Wolfesgang December 9, 2016

      No, Ukraine is a nation in its own right. And it doesn’t have much to do with religion.

      1. Walter December 9, 2016

        Orthodoxy is what makes Ukrainians and Russians one people with minor differences in dialect in some regions.

        1. Wolfesgang December 9, 2016

          No, a large majority of the Ukrainian people definitely do not want to be “one people” with the Russians, and that has to be respected in accordance with international law. They do not want to be dictated to by Westerners, Russians, or anyone else as to who they should be “one people” with.

  5. Wolfesgang December 9, 2016

    I can only applaud these senators. It’s high time for supercrook Putin to feel the backlash.

  6. FT66 December 9, 2016

    Sorry to write this but Trump seems to be so dumb to know who is the enemy and who isn’t. Or may be he has an hidden agenda thats why he pretends not to see or realise anything. If Trump doesn’t quickly change his blindness and continues as he has been campaigning to establish good relationship with Russia, am afraid his presidency won’t last long. Our allies see problems Russia has. Its neighbours see the same as well. How come just only the newcomer (Trump) see everything is rosey with Russia? Fool people once or twice, but if they catch you or suspect you, then know, you will be in really, really big trouble.

  7. Otto T. Goat December 9, 2016

    Neocon lunatics and Israel-puppets urge Trump to start dumb war.


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