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US Senator McCain Mocks EU’s Russia Sanctions

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File photo of Sen. John McCain. (credit: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

File photo of Sen. John McCain. (credit: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

TALLINN, Estonia — Sen. John McCain of Arizona has dismissed the European Union’s sanctions on Russia following the crisis in Ukraine as “almost a joke” during a tour of the Baltic countries.

Speaking in Estonia on Tuesday, McCain said the EU’s sanctions against a handful of Russian individuals and one financial institution were “minimal.”

He also called for “strong, tough American leadership” to shape the West’s response to Russia’s actions in the Ukraine crisis.

McCain and Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota are visiting Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania this week.

The U.S. Embassy in Tallinn said the two Republicans were traveling “in their capacity as members of the Senate to assess the security situation and explore ways that the U.S. could offer assistance and assurance to NATO members.”

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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