POLITICS: PennAve

Marco Rubio: Russia is a government of 'liars'

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Politics,Congress,Marco Rubio,John Kerry,Russia,National Security,PennAve,Susan Crabtree,Vladimir Putin,Ukraine

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Russia cannot be trusted to fulfill its international commitments because their government lies on a regular basis and is “increasingly behaving like an enemy of international peace and international norms.”

Appearing on NBC's “Meet the Press,” Rubio reacted to Russia's Friday invasion of the Crimea region of Ukraine by calling the Russian government “liars” that the U.S. cannot trust.

“Let's call it what it is,” Rubio said. “They are lying – this government is a government of liars, the Russian government. You see what's happening now in Crimea. I mean, they're claiming they're not there. You've got these individuals showing up in unmarked uniforms, wearing masks, but clearly they're Russian troops, even if they refuse to acknowledge it.”

He also said Secretary of State John Kerry has given the Russian government too much credit for cooperating in recent years on international agreements.

“We're dealing with a government that lies as a matter of course, and it's very difficult to enter an understanding with them on anything when they are willing to lie and cover things up in this way,” Rubio said.

Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was appearing on “Meet the Press” right after Kerry, who insisted that the U.S. could still work with Russia to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine, citing recent Russian cooperation on the second round of Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the interim nuclear agreement with Iran.

When asked whether Russia is now an enemy of the United States, Rubio responded: “I think they are increasingly behaving like an enemy of international peace and international norms.”

Putin, he said, does not appear interested in respecting and preserving any international laws.

“They're interested in reconstituting Russian power,” he said, arguing that the Obama administration has misread Putin's goals over the last few years in many of the same ways former President George W. Bush had done in the previous administration.

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