Cole: More Than Sanctions Needed To Stabilize Eastern Europe

Jul 18, 2014

The White House has called for an unimpeded international investigation into the Malaysian Airlines crash in Ukraine. 

Credit Republicanconference / Flickr

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla. 4) says the suspected surface-to-air missile attack on the passenger plane shows that President Obama's announcement this week to impose more sanctions on Russia isn't enough to ease the conflict in Eastern Europe.

“The Russians are probably as shocked about this as anybody else, and they know there's going to be some sort of response, not only from the United States, but probably from the broader European community as well," Cole says. "It's clear that pinprick sanctions aren't going to get the job done. The Russians have ignored them so far, and this has been the result, so I think it calls for a stronger response."

Speaking to CNN Friday morning, Cole said Congress is actively considering the administration's request for overseas contingency operations and additional money to redeploy forces in Europe in response to Russian activity along their western rim.

"So I think this is the appropriate vehicle to also add in direct military assistance for Ukraine," Cole says. "I think that's an unmistakable sign that we're going to support them, and that we're going to try to give them the wherewithal to defend their territorial integrity."

Cole serves on the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and said in a statement yesterday stability in the region would likely remain elusive without significant aid to the Ukrainian military.

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