The Wednesday announcement that Russia would respond to U.S. sanctions with their own brand of penalties apparently was meant more as a sophisticated joke than anything else. It was met by good-humored American lawmakers who took it as black humor in the midst of an international crisis, according to the Washington Post.
Receiving the brunt of Russian Vladimir Putin’s “punishment,” were six prominent lawmakers. They included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Dan Coats, R-Ind.
Maybe they did get the humor as they sent a message to Putin complaining of restrictions on their non-existent vacation travel in Russia and imaginary bank accounts frozen.
Sen. McCain spoke tongue-in-cheek saying, "I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off, my Gazprom stock is lost, and my secret bank account in Moscow is frozen. Nonetheless, I will never cease my efforts on behalf of the freedom, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea."
Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) responded. “President Putin, it's one thing to pick on me, but I wouldn't mess with Mary (his wife).
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) labeled the ‘sanctions’ as a "badge of honor."
House Majority Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he was “proud” being among President Putin’s opponents. Michael Steel, Boehner’s spokesman, said "The speaker is proud to be included on a list of those willing to stand against Putin's aggression."
Sen. Dan Coates (R-IN) and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) also got their verbal swings in.
But Sen. Menendez included a sobering prepared statement to President Putin:
"President Putin's military invasion and annexation of Crimea is brutal, totally unacceptable, and sadly returns us to a period of Cold War aggression and hostility. It doesn't have to be this way, but if standing up for the Ukrainian people, their freedom, their hard earned democracy and sovereignty means I'm sanctioned by Putin, so be it."
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