‘If he is allowed to get away with that, I think you will see a lot of other countries either directly facing Russian aggression or suborned with their political system so that they are so intimidated that in effect they are transformed into vassals, not sovereign democracies,’ Hillary Clinton, a former U.S. Secretary of State, warned Tuesday. ‘There is a lot at stake here,’ she added.
In her opinion, Putin’s annexation of Crimea, a move that has rankled Western allies and led the United States to sanction some Russian leaders, is an effort by the Russian leader to ‘rewrite the boundaries of post-World War II Europe.’
The former secretary of state also recommended more gas and energy independence in Europe as the way to give Western nations more flexibility with Russia.
‘The dependence of key European countries on Russian energy sources is what gives Russia the ability to intimidate,’ said Clinton, who used part of her remarks to push for more pipelines to Europe originating from countries other than Russia. The former secretary of state also applauded efforts for Poland to explore hydraulic fracturing.
The United States, the European Union and Ukraine do not recognize the annexation, a list of countries which have imposed sanctions on Russia is being expanded.