Jessica Wehrman in the Washington Bureau reports that U.S. Rep. Mike Turner has written a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry to express concern about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea.
In a letter also signed by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., Turner, R-Dayton, argues that the U.S. should “immediately” respond to Putin’s threats.
“We believe the U.S. must immediately take actions to respond to Russia’s threats to European security and to change President Putin’s calculus,” the two lawmakers wrote. “These policies, which have not been updated to reflect that Russia has no interest in being a partner to the West, and, in fact, views the West as a military threat, were naive at inception and are simply dangerous at present.”
Turner said Putin’s position that he has the right and intention to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea has escalated his ongoing pattern of aggression and proven his disregard for international agreements and treaties.
“In order to change the outcome, we must face the reality in front of us: Putin is an adversary of the United States,” Turner, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, said. “It is imperative that President Obama, Secretary Kerry, Secretary Hagel and the rest of the administration abandon the false narrative of what they want Russia to be and shift their focus, strategy and posture to what Putin’s actions are.”
The two also sent a list of questions about U.S. policy on Russia. They’ve asked for a reply by Feb. 1.