Durbin: My Mother Would Be Proud I’m Putin’s American Enemy

“My Lithuanian-born mother would be proud her son made Vladimir Putin’s American enemies list,” Sen. Dick Durbin says.

WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 15: Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) answers questions outside the White House following a meeting on the relocation of detainees from the Guantanamo Bay facility to northwestern Illinois December 15, 2009 in Washington, DC. The Obama administation announced the relocation of the detainees to the Thomson Correctional Center, a maximum security prison in a rural village about 150 miles west of Chicago. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
National Journal
Sara Sorcher
March 17, 2014, 1:51 p.m.

Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin is ap­par­ently strik­ing back at the U.S. with his own sanc­tions against Amer­ic­an of­fi­cials — and Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Whip Dick Durbin is not ex­actly quiv­er­ing in fear.

Hours after the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion un­veiled sanc­tions to pun­ish a num­ber of Rus­si­an and Ukrain­i­an of­fi­cials, The Daily Beast re­por­ted that Putin is craft­ing his own fin­an­cial hit list tar­get­ing Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials and U.S. sen­at­ors. Durbin, an Illinois Demo­crat, is said to be at the top of Putin’s sanc­tions list, which could be un­veiled as early as Tues­day.

“My Lithuani­an-born moth­er would be proud her son made Vladi­mir Putin’s Amer­ic­an en­emies list,” Durbin, who just re­turned from a trip to Ukraine, told Na­tion­al Journ­al.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion levied sanc­tions against 11 Rus­si­an and Ukrain­i­an of­fi­cials for their roles in a ref­er­en­dum on Sunday in which Crimea over­whelm­ingly voted to se­cede from Ukraine and join Rus­sia. The U.S. and oth­er West­ern coun­tries de­nounced the Crimea ref­er­en­dum as a vi­ol­a­tion of in­ter­na­tion­al law and Ukraine’s con­sti­tu­tion. Rus­si­an forces con­tin­ue to oc­cupy the re­gion.

Durbin had his own choice words for Putin. “Vladi­mir Putin is cer­tainly act­ing like the So­vi­ets of the past. He be­lieves every sur­round­ing coun­try is his to claim,” Durbin said in an in­ter­view. “What he’s done to the Re­pub­lic of Geor­gia dur­ing the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, what he’s done to Ukraine dur­ing this ad­min­is­tra­tion, has in­dic­ated his ap­pet­ite for oth­er coun­tries is un­di­min­ished.”

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