US Lawmakers Laugh Off Putin's Sanctions
Some U.S. lawmakers are getting a good laugh at Russian President Vladimir Putin's expense today.
The announcement that Russia would respond to U.S. sanctions with penalties of their own aimed at U.S. officials and lawmakers hasn't exactly gotten the response that Putin perhaps expected.
Most of the six lawmakers who ended up on Putin's list, which include Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Dan Coats, R-Ind., fired off statements ribbing Putin for restricting their non-existent vacation travel in Russia and imaginary bank accounts.
"I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off, my Gazprom stock is lost, and my secret bank account in Moscow is frozen," McCain wrote in a statement today. "Nonetheless, I will never cease my efforts on behalf of the freedom, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea."
Harry Reid similarly responded with a sizable dose of snark.
- Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) March 20, 2014
Landrieu touted the sanctions as a "badge of honor."
Being sanctioned by President Putin is a badge of honor. #SanctionedByPutin
- Senator Landrieu (@SenLandrieu) March 20, 2014
And Boehner said he's "proud" to be among a list of Putin's adversaries.
"The speaker is proud to be included on a list of those willing to stand against Putin's aggression," said Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesman.
Coates added that his family vacation in Siberia is apparently off.
While I'm disappointed that I won't be able to go on vacation with my family in Siberia this summer, I am honored to be on this list
- Senator Dan Coats (@SenDanCoats) March 20, 2014
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez more soberly lamented Putin's insistence on a return to Cold War-era aggression.
"President Putin's military invasion and annexation of Crimea is brutal, totally unacceptable, and sadly returns us to a period of Cold War aggression and hostility," Menendez said in a statement. "It doesn't have to be this way, but if standing up for the Ukrainian people, their freedom, their hard earned democracy and sovereignty means I'm sanctioned by Putin, so be it."