U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today released the following statement on next steps the U.S. should take in our relations with Russia:
"We obviously agree with President Obama's decision to cancel his planned meeting with President Putin in Moscow in the wake of the Russian government granting asylum to Edward Snowden. But now we must move beyond symbolic acts and take the steps necessary to establish a more realistic approach to our relations with Russia. That means demonstrating to the Russian government that there will be consequences for its continued actions that undermine American national interests.
"The first thing we should do is significantly expand the Magnitsky Act list to hold accountable the many human violators who are still enjoying a culture of impunity in Russia. We should push for the completion of all phases of our missile defense programs in Europe, and move expeditiously on another round of NATO expansion, including the Republic of Georgia. We should challenge the political convictions and detentions of Russian dissidents such as Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Alexei Navalny. We should move expeditiously to complete the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership so that America's growing supplies of oil and gas can be more freely sold to our European allies, thereby ending their long-time dependence on Russian energy. And perhaps most importantly, we should speak out on behalf of the many people in Russia who increasingly are finding the courage to peacefully demand greater freedom, accountability, and rule of law in Russia."