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Jeb Bush calls Putin a "bully"

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 01:17

Jeb Bush - who looks set to officially launch his Republican presidential candidacy next week - says the U.S. and its allies need to be more resolute in their response to Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him a ''bully''. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said on Wednesday (June 10) that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a "bully" and the United States and its allies in Europe should be resolute in responding to Russian aggression. Bush, the brother of former U.S. President George W. Bush, is on a five-day tour of Europe in a bid to prove his foreign policy credentials before he is expected to launch his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination next week. After leaving Berlin he will visit Poland and Estonia. "Ultimately I think to deal with Putin you need to deal from strength - he's a bully and ... you enable bad behaviour when you're nuanced with a guy like that," Bush, the former governor of Florida, told reporters in Berlin. "And I think just being clear - I'm not talking about being bellicose - but saying 'here are the consequences of your actions', and that would deter the kind of bad outcome we don't want to see," he added. Bush said signalling what further sanctions Russia could face and providing assurances to Poland and the Baltic states that the U.S. would meet its obligations regarding Article 5 of NATO's treaty -- a mutual defense clause that says an attack on one member state is considered an attack against the alliance as a whole -- could help halt Putin's aggression towards Ukraine. "If he believes that we're not serious, then I think it increases the possibility that he'll take further action. If he thinks that we're resolute I think that that's the greatest possibility of restricting any kind of further aggressions." Putin blames Kiev and the West for the crisis, saying they plotted a coup in Ukraine. He denies sending arms and troops to back pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine. Bush said the U.S. needed to continuously make clear that Article 5 was an obligation for all NATO members, including the U.S. and Washington needed to be more robust in expressing that. He said that training exercises in Poland and the Baltic nations needed to be "more robust", adding that while Moscow deployed tens of thousands of troops in areas near allies of the U.S., the response from Washington was "far less meaningful". He said it was essential to make sure that U.S. did not signal it was against Russia or isolate Moscow to such an extent that it ended up in the arms of China, adding that Russia needed to be a European country.

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Jeb Bush calls Putin a "bully"

Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 01:17