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Kelly Ayotte: U.S., Russia could improve ties over Ukraine crisis

Feb. 23, 2014 at 12:34 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said Sunday the crisis in Ukraine presents an opportunity for the United States and Russia to reset their relationship.

In an appearance on Fox News "Sunday," Ayotte said now that the Olympics are over, she's concerned about Russia's behavior regarding the violent protests in neighboring Ukraine.

"I believe [U.S. President Obama] needs to up his game and send a clear unequivocal public message to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin not to interfere in what is happening in Ukraine, to let the Ukrainian people determine their future, to ensure that there is no interference in their sovereignty, and I think this is an important time for him to do that," Ayotte said.

When Obama came into office, he said he wanted to improve the U.S. relationship with Russia, though that has largely not happened in the intervening years, Fox News reported.

"I think that's why this is an opportunity for the president to really be unequivocal with Putin right now in the Ukraine, what happens in the Ukraine very much matters," Ayotte said. "It's time to reset the reset, and I think Ukraine presents an opportunity for the president to do that with clear American leadership here for a good outcome."

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