In a recent article for Politico Magazine, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL,) laid out an eight step plan to address the current situation between Ukraine and the Russian Federation. In the piece, he stated that the Russian military incursion in the Crimea region in Ukraine is a violation of a nation’s sovereignty and cannot go unpunished.
He went on to lay out a plan to deal with Vladimir Putin and isolate the regime until the situation is resolved.
1) President Obama should speak unequivocally and call this what it is: a military invasion. The Obama administration must publicly acknowledge that its “reset” with Russia is dead. The president must now accept that the only way to deal with tyrants like Vladimir Putin is with a clear understanding that they can’t be trusted and that only decisive action will deter their provocative moves.
2) President Obama should dispatch Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Kiev to show U.S. support for Ukraine’s transitional government, and urge our allies in the European Union and NATO to send representatives there as well. The United States should convene an emergency meeting of NATO to develop a strong united response from the trans-Atlantic alliance. And we should send high-level delegations to our allies in Central and Eastern Europe to reinforce the fact that we are standing by them. As part of this work with our allies, we should develop a series of economic and security assurance measures to help the transitional government in Kiev remain stable and carry out a democratic transition.
3) The United States should rally our allies to boycott this June’s G-8 summit in Sochi, Russia. And if Russian troops do not leave Ukraine immediately, Russia should be expelled from this group altogether.
4) Any and all discussions and negotiations with Moscow on any issue unrelated to this crisis, including trade and other matters, should be immediately suspended.
5) The U.S. and our allies should put forward a condemnatory resolution in the United Nations Security Council. A Russian or Chinese veto would make clear to the world the hypocrisy of these governments, since they say they oppose foreign intervention into the affairs of sovereign countries—unless of course they are the ones intervening.
6) We should renew a push for eventual membership in NATO by the Republic of Georgia and aim to provide the country with some of the defensive capabilities the Georgians have requested ever since they were invaded by Russia in 2008.
7) The Obama administration should immediately add more Russian officials to the Magnitsky list, which places travel bans and other sanctions on them – something President Obama failed to do in December. Living in Miami, I have seen in recent years the wave of Russian tourists coming to our city and state to spend money and buy property. Many are government officials or allies whose wealth stems from allegiance to Putin, and we should limit their ability to travel here.
8) In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid should immediately halt his effort to force a Senate vote on Rose Gottemoeller next week to be under secretary of state for arms control and international security. As I, Sens. John Cornyn and Jim Risch said yesterday, we shouldn’t even be thinking about arms-control negotiations with Russia anytime soon. And especially not negotiations led by a State Department official, such as Ms. Gottemoeller, who has tried to play down and potentially kept information from Congress and our allies about Russian violations of arms-control agreements.
Though the Senator brings up some logical arguments in the piece, his views seem to be contrary to the economic needs of the people of the state of Florida in particular, and the world economy in general. As he himself stated in the article, he has noticed an uptick in the amount of Russian tourists visiting Florida in recent years. As an economic powerhouse, we cannot afford to upset these providers of the very lifeblood our state survives on, namely tourism. If the United States does too much to upset the Russians, Venezuelans, and Chinese, the tourist economy of the state will slow to a crawl, if not collapse altogether!
This is a sticky situation to say the least, and there are not any easy answers. However, the more you look into our economic and political options, the more unfavorable each one becomes.
On Tuesday, March 25, the situation became a bit more complex, as U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), David Vitter (R-LA), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced a resolution concerning Russia’s violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty. A companion resolution is being introduced in the House by Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces; Congressman Joe Heck (R-NV), Chairman, House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence; and Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade.
In introducing the resolution, Rubio and his House colleagues issued the following statement:
“Fresh off the invasion of a sovereign state, Russian cheating cannot be interpreted in anything but the most sinister terms. Cheating is not a separate issue, but is rather recognized as an equal part of President Putin’s long term plan for a resurgent Russia.
“We have introduced this resolution because the viability of future arms control agreements depends on the reliability of current ones. The INF treaty is the central arms control accord of the nuclear era. We must treat it seriously and pursue violations relentlessly. There is simply no point in having treaties unless both sides treat them with the utmost fidelity, and act in a manner binding to the agreement.”
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