5 Steps Government Officials Are Considering to Deal With the Situation in Ukraine

Written by Annie Rose-Strasser, Jeff Spross and Travis Waldron

As a tense situation continued to unfold in Ukraine on Sunday, the major Sunday talk shows brought on Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as other government officials, to discuss whether there should be any U.S. involvement here over Russia’s decision to send troops into the semi-autonomous region of Crimea and, if so, what that could look like.

While ThinkProgress on Saturday laid out five potential non-war options that the U.S. could seek to deal with the situation, more options — some fairly contentious — arose as a result of discussions on the Sunday shows.

Here’s a look at the ideas that U.S. government officials from both sides of the aisle are entertaining to deal with the situation in Ukraine:

1. Removing Russia from the G-8, taking the next G-8 meeting out of Sochi

Secretary of State John Kerry: “[Putin] is not going to have a Sochi G-8. He may not even remain in the G-8 if this continues.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “How about this — suspend Russian membership in the G-8 and the G-20 at least for a year starting right now. For every day that they stay in Crimea, add to the suspension.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL): “This notion of taking him out of the G-8 has already been suggested by the administration. And I think it is the right thing do.”

2. Expanding and strengthening NATO

Sen. Graham: “Let’s accelerate Georgia’s admission into NATO. Moldova is under siege by Russia. let’s help Moldova. Let’s protect from a rogue missile attack coming out of the middle east. If i were President Obama, I would reengage Poland and the Czech Republic regarding missile defense. I would add Georgia to NATO. I’d have a larger military presence in the Balkans to NATO members who are threatened by Russia. I would fly the NATO flag as strongly as i could around Putin.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL): “I am saying however that our NATO alliance needs to be reinvigorated, is an important alliance. Countries that neighbor Ukraine, for example, Poland and others who had part of that alliance I think we need to be providing them assurances of the importance of this alliance, including perhaps — in fact I think we should revisit the missile missile defense shield we talked about so often.”

3. Freezing business with Russia, blocking Russian visas

Sec. Kerry: “There could even be ultimately asset freezes, visa bans, there could be certainly disruption of any of the normal trade routine. Snd there could be business drawback on investment in the country…. [Putin] may find himself with asset freezes on Russian business, American business may pull back. There may be a further tumble of the Ruble. There’s a huge price to pay.”

Sen. Rubio: “Any and all discussions and negotiations with Moscow on any issue unrelated to this crisis, including trade and other matters, should be immediately suspended…. 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.”

4. Helping Ukraine Secure Funding

Sen. Durbin: “What Congress has to do, what the Senate should do quickly is a resolution condemning what Putin has done and second, saying that if Ukraine will stand up for real reform, that we’re going to back them through the IMF, and making it clear to our allies in NATO that that alliance is strong.”

Sec. Kerry: “We would call on Congress immediately to the degree that they are prepared to be helpful, that they immediately lay down with us an economic package in order to assist Ukraine.”

5. Bolstering the missile defense of Ukraine

Sen. Rubio: “I would say that as part of strengthening and stabilizing the government in Kiev now, so that they can transition to stability down the road as well, I think part of that should be strengthening their defense capabilities. Because I think this threat is a long term one that they’re facing.”

This post originally appeared on ThinkProgress

Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


Jim Ven
Jim Ven5 months ago

thanks for the article.

Ros G.
Ros G.2 years ago

Thank you Robert H.........but if I recall correctly...."Edward Snowdon said it's always to do with OIL" Greece is bankrupt and are beholden to the EU..now there is talk about putting in pipelines to feed the rest of Europe from the Middle East through Greece, etc....uumm now where is the Black Sea..

BTW David we pay twice as much for our petrol here in Oz...the US likes to keep our $ below .90cents US........our price of petrol falls when we are above parity..we export our high grade crude and buy back a much cheaper grade for domestic use...fickle world. This has been going on for decades..can't blame one Government over the other...they are all tarred with the same brush...excuse the pun..no offense meant.

Ros G.
Ros G.2 years ago

Still no shots fired after ... how many days now?..Could the US show so much constraint? Crimea is to go to the polls in a few days time..the people will decide if they want to be reunified with Russia again..looks like they are in favour of that..up until 1954 they were Russians..most of the population still are but need to get a visa to visit family and friends from the Ukraine authorities...

Charles S.
Charles S.2 years ago

David F , You don't seem to have any idea , that it doesn't matter how much you drill or where , the price of oil and gasoline will not ger any cheaper. We the people , do not own the oil. The oil companies do , and they are always going to sell it to the highest bidder.
As far as the Keystone pipeline is concerned , everything I have read or heard about it , is that it is to ship oil out of the U.S.. It doesn't sound too great to risk dirty oil spills in some of our best agricultural land and foul the aquifer beneath it.
we heard all the same promises about the Alaskan pipeline. Our gasoline did not get any cheaper and I understand most of the oil from there goes to Japan and Asia.
When do we Americans ever get our cheaper gasoline , and fuel oil, from all these promises?

Brian Foster
Brian F.2 years ago

(continued) geothermal power can further diversify our energy mix, and contribute to 100% clean renewable energy. Clean renewable energy must replace dirty fossil fuels. China is leading the way spending more than any country on clean wind and solar power. Dirty oil must be left in the ground. Global Warming is real, and requires us to transition to clean renewable energy now.

Brian Foster
Brian F.2 years ago

David F Your incompetent failed leader, and absolute moron, George Bush destroyed the country by invading Iraq based on lies. The dems voted to invade because they believed Bush's lies. By cutting taxes for the rich, and spending 2 billion a week for 8 years of his horrible presidency, Bush spent money we didn't have, and left Obama with a massive 10.7 trillion dollar debt. the Iraq war was the biggest foreign policy blunder in US history, and resulted in the deaths of 4,400 US soldiers, 120,000 Iraqi soldiers, and 30,000 wounded warriors with missing limbs or traumatic brain injury. Your republican party has done nothing but destroy this country with illegal wars, that are based on lies, and tax breaks for the rich. Corporate America, including the nefarious billionaire Koch brothers own your sick criminal party, that only serves the rich. The dirty Keystone pipeline oil will not go to us, but be sold overseas, and we will suffer oil spills forever. The dirty tar sands oil will contribute far more to Global Warming than regular oil, and make the Canadian oil company Enbridge rich at the expense of our environment. We need to leave oil, and dirty fossil fuels in the ground. Electric cars, including, solar, wind, and geothermal power are the future. The Nissan Leaf electric car can go 80 miles on one charge. 90% of our car trips are less than 60 miles. Electric cars, and solar power systems on our homes can free us from dirty polluting oil and fossil fuels. Wind, and geotherma

Robert Hamm
Robert Hamm2 years ago

Yawns NOTHING Obama did has a thing to do with what happened in the Ukraine. Nothing he did could have stopped Putin. Your opinions about Oil are jsut that your opinions and have NOTHING to do with the topic os this thread. Your Obama hate is meaningles in this thread.

David F.
David F.2 years ago

Your level headed con man in chief, Downsizes US military. Promised Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" to "further disarm after Tuesday's election".
He blocks US oil competition at all opportunities to keep Prices high so too advantage OPEC countries like Russia, Venezuela and the middle East. Repeatedly blocked Keystone pipe line. Blocked drilling permits 88%. Blocked Alaskan North shore development. 94-97% of federal lands blocked from oil development. Increased gas prices from 1.40 to 3.50.
Now he claimed the cold war was over 20 years ago and the Russians are great friends. This community organizer is far more likely to get us into a war then any conservative.

Steven Gregory Davis

I'm glad that Obama is a level-headed president, seeking to negotiate rather than to declare war on ANY country who has a different political agenda then the US does...The USA has been involved in way too many senseless "Police Actions" in the last two decades...The wars in Irak and Afghanistan have only served to bring the hatred of the Muslim Fanatics to a boiling point!!!
We cannot afford to be pulled into a war over the KRIM, PERIOD!!!!

Charles S.
Charles S.2 years ago

John McCain , Lindsay Graham and other war mongers do not seem to realize , that if we have war with Russia , there will be no winners , and the world , what ever will be left of it will be a terrible place to live for those who are left.
They better hope and pray they don't get what they want. There is nothing to say they will survive any better than other people.
With all their bluster , it would only take someone from either side bombing or firing on ships or planes and it will be all over. Talking about it won't work then.