News Local/State

Sen. Durbin Weighs In On Russia’s Presence In Ukraine


U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says the invasion of Crimea has virtually undone all the goodwill Russian President Vladimir Putin put into the Winter Olympics.

Speaking in Normal Friday, Durbin said Putin spent $51 billion on the Olympics, only to see the investment wither away in a matter of days.

"By invading Crimea, putting thousands of troops there and threatening the existence of this part of Ukraine," he said.  "So, if he wants to get on the path of respectability, he better start lessening the aggression in Crimea."

Durbin says he expects economic sanctions against Russia will be successful, and no U.S. troops will ultimately be involved in the dispute.

"If we start to impose sanctions in order to bring him around, there'll be a price to be paid in terms of investment in Russia," he said.  "I don't think he wants that to happen. So we don't need to send troops. We just need to send a powerful message."

Durbin compares the Ukrainian invasion to Russia's invasion of Georgia eight years ago, and says there's a long history of this kind of activity with Russia and its border countries.