- The Washington Times - Monday, March 3, 2014

Sen. Chris Murphy said Monday that he is confident that Congress will be able to strike a bipartisan deal to impose economic sanctions against Russia after it tightened its grip on the Crimean Peninsula.

Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Mr. Murphy, Connecticut Democrat who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that European nations should also consider pushing back against the aggression from the government of Russian President Vladimir V. Putin.

“It is frankly in Europe’s interest to get tougher than the United States on the issue of economic sanctions. They really hold the power in terms of trying to tighten the purse strings on Putin,” Mr. Murphy said. “Who knows who is next in this guy’s extraterritorial ambitions.”

“The good news,” Mr. Murphy said, “you’ll see Republicans and Democrats pretty easily joining together to support a tough sanctions regime.”

Secretary of State John F. Kerry is traveling to Ukraine’s capital this week to meet with leaders of the nation’s new government.

Mr. Kerry has stressed that all options are not he table when it comes to defusing the situation.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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