The tense tug-of-war between Russia and Ukraine escalated Monday, a day after three Ukrainian naval vessels were reportedly fired at and then captured by Russian coast guard ships - actions denounced by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations as "outrageous" and a "provocation."
Tom Nichols, professor at the Naval War College and the Harvard Extension School, joined Fox News Radio's Guy Benson and Marie Harf to discuss U.S. tensions with Russia.
On what has happened this weekend with Russia and Ukraine: As usual, the Russians are trying things because they can. They don't think there's any cost. Of course, as always these are my own views and not those of the Navy. I think this is one of those situations where the world isn't watching because we've just kind of gotten used to the fact that Russia seized Crimea and is sitting on Ukrainian territory in eastern Ukraine and we've kind of forgotten about the fact that this issue in the Black Sean and the Sea of Azov is festering. This has been going on for a long time. (1:45)
On Nikki Haley's response: That was a great speech and as usual Nikki Haley nails it. I wish the President were that clear. I wish the President would say something like that, but part of the problem with our response is that it's always this kind of two-track split personality approach where the entire administration seems to understand that Russia is a threat and the President is no where to be seen. There's almost like two foreign policies here. (4:18)
On what the U.S. can do moving forward: NATO certainly isn't going to drop 100,000 troops into Ukraine or anything like that. To some extent the rhetorical declarations at the moment are all we can do because we already have so many sanctions on Russia and the Russians don't care. I shouldn't say the Russians don't care. This is an important distinction. Putin doesn't care. The Russian people are suffering and certainly some of the people around Putin are suffering, but Putin really doesn't care. (5:54)
On advice for next Putin Summit: Don't. Don't have any conversation beyond hello because the problem is you just played that great clip from Nikki Haley. The problem in this administration is you can do all this work, build up this rhetorical hard stance, start getting your allies together and then the President talks to Putin and blows it all up in a day. (7:11)