- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sen. Kelly Ayotte said Sunday President Obama needs to make it clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin to stay out of the crisis in Ukraine.

The New Hampshire Republican, in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” said, “Now that the Olympics are over, we need to watch the behavior of the Russians.

“The president needs to up his game,” she said.

“The president needs to be clear, public and unequivocal right now with a message to Putin,” she said. “The idea that they could actually interfere with the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine — look what happened with Georgia — I think this is a very real possibility.”

Both Mrs. Ayotte and Sen. Dick Durbin, appearing on the same program, called for the use of international economic policies to discourage Russia from taking action against the pro-Western movement inside Ukraine.

“There is economic pressure we could provide … we can provide a leadership role we could play with the [International Monetary Fund],” Mrs. Ayotte said.

Mr. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, asked about the possibility of American “boots on the ground” in Ukraine, said: “Absolutely not.”

• David Eldridge can be reached at deldridge@washingtontimes.com.

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