U.S. Senator John Barrasso has called for deploying warships to the Black Sea in response to Russia's aggression.
"Putin is somebody that respects strength and territory. Words don't mean much to him, action does. I think we need to do more. I've called for sending ships to the Black Sea—and have NATO do it as well. To show the people of Ukraine that we are with them. To show Russia that international law must be followed," Barasso told NBC's "Meet the Press," according to his website.
“But in terms of lethal weapons for Ukraine, we've given them anti-tank, we need to give them anti-aircraft, we need to give them weapons also in terms of anti-ship," the Senator said, adding that Putin "will not stop until he is stopped."
"He can smell fear and that's the way he acts," Barasso said.
Elaborating on possible U.S. response, the Senator went on to say, “Any kind of action has to be a deterrence and a deterrence has to be a forceful response. Not just saying something to Putin. He's cunning, he's opportunistic, he's aggressive. He probes for weakness and then he takes it further. That's what his position has been with Ukraine. He treats Ukraine as a guinea pig. He tries something there and then says I can try it other places.
He also noted the need to prevent the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline bypassing Ukraine.
“Putin's powers are three: cyber, as well as energy, as well as his military. We need to do everything we can to become more energy independent and dominant, to use that energy, and I think we need NATO's involvement as well. Angela Merkel ought to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline because she's addicted to Russian energy."