Sen. Feinstein: The U.S. Is Now at Cold War Levels With Russia

“Putin, you have to man up,” Feinstein told CNN’s Candy Crowley.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) speaks on Capitol Hill on June 4. On Tuesday, Feinstein's Senate Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee approved a fiscal 2015 spending bill.
National Journal
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Dustin Volz
July 20, 2014, 5:52 a.m.

Sen­ate In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee Chair­wo­man Di­anne Fein­stein thor­oughly con­demned Rus­si­an Pres­id­ent Vladi­mir Putin for his role in em­power­ing Ukraine’s pro-Rus­si­an sep­ar­at­ists, dur­ing an in­ter­view with CNN on Sunday, largely lay­ing the blame at his feet for the down­ing last week of a Malay­sia Air­lines pas­sen­ger jet.

Re­gard­less of Putin’s level of in­volve­ment in the plane crash, Fein­stein said, U.S. re­la­tions with Rus­sia had dipped to a new low.

When asked by CNN’s Candy Crow­ley if U.S.-Rus­sia re­la­tions were now “at Cold War levels,” Fein­stein did not hes­it­ate. “Yes,” the Cali­for­nia Demo­crat replied.

“The is­sue is, where is Putin? I would say, Putin, you have to man up,” Fein­stein said. “You should say if this was a mis­take, which I hope it was, say it. Even if it was a mis­take, it was a hor­rendous mis­take to make. And I think it points out the fu­til­ity of what’s hap­pen­ing in the Ukraine.”

House Home­land Se­cur­ity Com­mit­tee Chair­man Mi­chael Mc­Caul, also ap­pear­ing on CNN, agreed with Fein­stein. “I be­lieve, as you asked Sen­at­or Fein­stein that Mr. Putin is re­turn­ing to a Cold War men­tal­ity,” he said. “When I was over there, you could see this na­tion­al­ist­ic pride, a sort of re­sur­gence to re­gain the glory of the old days of the So­viet Em­pire, and so we’re see­ing that hap­pen with Crimea be­ing an­nexed.”

Already-strained U.S. dip­lo­mat­ic re­la­tions with Rus­sia have de­teri­or­ated in re­cent months, as a wave of un­rest in Ukraine led to Rus­sia’s an­nex­a­tion of the Crimean Pen­in­sula. That ac­tion and armed sep­ar­at­ist move­ments in oth­er re­gions of Ukraine have promp­ted tight­en­ing in­ter­na­tion­al sanc­tions on Rus­sia, the most re­cent of which were an­nounced by Pres­id­ent Obama last week.

On Sunday, pro-Rus­si­an sep­ar­at­ist mi­li­tia­men took cus­tody of about 200 of the 298 bod­ies found at the wreck­age site of Fight 17, which was shot down by a sur­face-to-air mis­sile on Thursday, ac­cord­ing to Ukrain­i­an of­fi­cials.


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