Beltway Confidential

Marco Rubio: We need to be blunt with Vladimir Putin

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Beltway Confidential,Charlie Spiering,Marco Rubio,Russia,United Kingdom,Vladimir Putin

Sen. Marco Rubio wants America and Europe to be blunt with Russian President Vladimir Putin about its direction in the world, particularly in Eastern Europe.

During a speech in London on Tuesday, Rubio, R-Fla., outlined his approach to foreign policy in light of the strong diplomatic ties between America and Britain.

Part of that, Rubio signaled, was a united approach to Russia.

"We’ve achieved quite a bit since the end of the Cold War, but we need to continue to extend the influence that European institutions have had on Europe’s periphery," he said. "Part of this involves being blunt about our differences with Vladimir Putin’s government and reassuring our allies in the region that we support their ambitions to move forward toward liberty rather than backwards toward the days of Soviet domination."

Rubio pointed out that the ongoing Ukrainian protests against the government's relationship with Russia was a reason to bring the country closer to the European Union.

"We should all be concerned about the Ukrainian government’s recent decision to bow to Russian pressure and not sign an association agreement or free trade pact with the EU," Rubio said. "Our thoughts are with the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who have taken to the streets to express concern about the future of their country."

Although Rubio signaled that the United States supported a strong EU, he pointed out that he supports Britain's right to decide its own role in the European alliance.

"As for Britain’s role in Europe, that should be a matter for the British people to decide, and your American partners should respect whatever decision you make," he said. "Our alliance, our partnership and our affection for your nation will continue regardless of the road you choose."

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