Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Gates: Crimea Belongs to Putin Now Gates: Crimea Belongs to Putin Now

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member or subscriber? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Gates: Crimea Belongs to Putin Now

The former Defense secretary warns that the Russian forces likely aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

+

Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed a push for Crimea to leave Ukraine and join Russia.(GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday that Russia likely won't give up its hold on Crimea.

"I think the Russians see this as taking back territory that belonged to them," the former top official for the Pentagon said during an appearance on Fox News, adding: "I do not believe that Crimea will slip out of Russia's hands."

 

Asked by host Chris Wallace if he believes Crimea is "gone," Gates said that he did.

The United States is hoping to pressure Russia into a diplomatic resolution by trying to isolate it from international organizations, including the G-8, and with potential sanctions, with Secretary of State John Kerry repeatedly noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions aren't how global powers behave in the 21st century.

But Gates noted that it isn't whether or not the incursion is "aggressive" or "illegitimate," but said "the question is can anyone do anything about it."

 

The pro-Russia government in Crimea is holding a referendum later this month on whether the region should join Russia. It's a move that Putin has backed and U.S. and Ukranian officials have called illegitimate, noting that any change to the country's borders must take place in consultation with the official government in Kiev.

And in addition to foreign policy pressures, President Obama is also facing increasing criticism back home. Congressional Republicans fault what they view as a weak foreign policy by the president for Putin's incursion into Ukraine. But Gates largely brushed aside such criticism. 

"I think even if we had launched attacks in Syria, even if we weren't cutting our defense budget, I think Putin saw an opportunity here," he said.

Gates on Fox News Sunday

 

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories

Keeps me informed about national leadership concerns."

Senior Military Officer

The best!"

Mark, Compensation Analyst

Timely and informative."

Dave, HR specialist

I can browse over breakfast or while on the metro."

AJ, US Army Officer

Sign up form for the newsletter
Comments
comments powered by Disqus
 
MORE NATIONAL JOURNAL