WASHINGTON — Top U.S. officials warned against further Russian military aggression into eastern Ukraine as Americans and Western allies prepared to slap more sanctions on Russian officials and to protect the new government in Kiev.
Sanctions could be announced as soon as Monday, officials said, and would send a message to Russian President
"We are putting as much pressure on the Russians as we can to do the right thing," Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser at the
"They know that there are costs to their action here. The costs are economic," Pfeiffer said. "The more they escalate, the longer this goes, the greater those costs will be."
White House Press Secretary
Returning Sunday from a bipartisan trip of eight senators to Ukraine, Sen.
Already the White House has sought targeted sanctions on Russian individuals responsible for the military incursions now threatening a sovereign Ukraine. Senators also said they expected a $1-billion loan package and sanctions that have stalled in
As Russian-backed military forces surrounded Ukrainian troops in the Crimea,
"I pray to God they don't open fire," Murphy said by phone. If Ukrainian troops are harmed, he said, "there's going to be hell to pay for Russia from the West."
"No more reset buttons," McCain said on CNN. "Treat him for what he is. That does not mean re-ignition of the Cold War, but it does mean treating him in the way that we understand an individual who believes in restoring the old Russian empire."