U.S Senators send a clear message to Russia
By Ana Robakidze
Thursday, May 1
U.S democratic Senator Chris Murphy believes that granting the Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia would be an adequate response to Russia, after its aggression against the neighbors.
“To send a clear message to Putin, let us give (MAP) to Georgia and enact an "open door policy” so other countries can work their way into the Alliance,” Murphy said, speaking on April at the Atlantic Council conference ‘Toward a Europe Whole and Free’.
Senator Murphy and Senators John McCain spoke as part of the conference on the US role in European security. Both senators expressed their concern over the events in Ukraine and said that the Ukrainian crisis is vital to the transatlantic relationship. Senator Murphy said now U.S has an opportunity to show that the bond with Europe is not borne of temporary, strategy interest.
Ukrainian conflict tests the moral suasion of the U.S and now it has to lead, McCain said. He believes there is not time for his country to wait and U.S has to take a leadership role in solving this crisis.
According to Senator McCain Europe is unable to give an adequate reply to Moscow due to its energy dependence on Russia.
Further, “we should not forget about Crimea” and should not remove sanctions until the disposition has changed on that peninsula.
“The Europeans are not going to enact meaningful sanctions as long they are reliant on Russian energy,” McCain said. He also spoke about the possible military assistance to Ukraine and said U.S has around fifty long-term military assistance programs with other countries and including Ukraine on the list could be prudent.
“In addition, the United States should send weaponry for Ukrainian forces not because they can defeat the Russians, but because it’s a morale thing,” Senator McCain said.
Secretary of State John Kerry also spoke at the conference and told European ministers and diplomats that the U.S is prepared to help NATO defend its members’ territory against conflicts that might spread from Russia’s seizure of Crimea and its attacks on eastern Ukraine
The two-day conference was opened by the Atlantic Council Chairman Jon Huntsman on April 29th. His welcome speech was followed by Tomas Valasek, Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to NATO, and Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson. They made a joint presentation outlining the challenge of a Europe whole and free. The panel included high ranking officials from the U.S and Europe. Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, who paid his official visit to Washington, also participated in the conference.