WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – As Russian President Vladimir Putin signs an agreement bringing Crimea one step closer to joining Russia, Sen. Dan Coats (IN-R) visited News 18 at Five to discuss the situation in Ukraine and how the United States is responding.
Though Ukraine is 5,000 miles away, and trade between our countries is almost non-existent, Coats said Hoosiers should care about the crisis.
He said we should focus on the lesson of history — conflicts grow from small beginnings. He pointed to the beginning of the first World War, and that of WWII, saying that the events surrounding both are eerily reminiscent of Russia’s moves on Crimea.
“This could be a defining moment. It is no secret that Putin has imperial ambitions, motivated by his pathological insecurities and a quest to restore lost glories,” said Coats. “These are dangerous delusions that, if not confronted firmly, will come to threaten us all.”
According to Coats, policymakers should draw from such history lessons in order to avoid larger and likely more disastrous developments down the road. Coats said he wants to remind Americans that at its core, our foreign policy and strategic interests are centered around Europe’s well-being.
An initial sanctions package was passed against Russia two days ago, but Coats is also concerned about America’s international prestige.
“The United States is increasingly perceived as a spent force, exhausted by interminable wars, politically divided and inert, financially strained and floundering without firm, determined leadership,” Coats said.
The senator also thinks this is the time to change the false picture of our country as a weakened world power.
“This is the moment to demonstrate our nation’s return to the leadership role that the realities of this harsh world have long imposed upon us,” he said.
Watch the full interview from News 18 at Five with U.S. Sen. Dan Coats in the video above.