U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) isn;t optimistic about potential talks in Ukraine with pro-Russia separatists.
After two regions of eastern Ukraine voted to separate from the country, Russia has asked for Ukraine to open a dialogue with the groups that supported independence or joining the Russian Federation.
Durbin doesn’t believe that means Russian President Vladimir Putin is backing away from potentially annexing those areas. “What Putin is doing in the Ukraine is outrageous,” Durbin said. “He is extending the reach of his dream of a Russian empire. He has now invaded a neutral country, a separate country, Ukraine, and is claiming territory, first Crimea, and now
Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.”
After a similar separation referendum was held in Crimea in March, Putin quickly annexed the region. Both the U.S. and Ukraine have called the votes illegal.
U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) is more optimistic, saying that Putin pulling back Russian troops from the border may be a sign that he has “blinked.”