It’s time to take off the kid gloves and start going toe-to-toe with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, during an appearance on Fox News.
After all, Mr. Putin doesn’t mind causing America angst, Mr. Bolton said. Witness the recent granting of asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
“I think in order to focus Putin’s thinking, we need to do things that cause him pain as well,” Mr. Bolton said, to Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “And while I know that not having a chance to have a bilateral meeting with his buddy Barack Obama will cause Putin to lose sleep, it’s not damaging Russian interests.”
Canceling the private chat at the G-20 summit is hardly harsh, Mr. Bolton said, Politico reported. As he put it: The action amounts to “Obama fluttering his eyelids. It’s purely symbolic,” he said.
Mr. Bolton also said the Russians have “out-maneuvered” and embarrassed Mr. Obama — and they’ve been doing it for years.
China isn’t much better, he said.
“I don’t think we should forget we should make China feel pain here for giving Snowden asylum for a couple of days and then allowing him to escape to Moscow. I think the lesson Putin learned watching what we did not do to China is Putin could get away with it, too. So far, they are both right,” Mr. Bolton said, Politico reported.