Fox News host Bret Baier briefly departed from his duties as host of “Special Report” on Friday to opine on Ukraine, saying it’s “striking how little focus is on this crisis in Europe.”
The panel — which included conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes and The Hill’s A.B. Stoddard — began by discussing Secretary of State John Kerry’s failed negotiations with his Russian counterpart over the massing of troops on Ukraine’s eastern border and the referendum on Crimea’s independence scheduled for this Sunday.
“John Kerry said there will be serious consequences if Russia goes ahead with this Crimea referendum on Sunday,” Hayes began, “and then proceeded to follow that up by saying, ‘But we don’t mean that as a threat, and we really don’t want you to take that personally.’ Which of course undermines the entire point of making the threat in the first place.”
Stoddard noted that Russian economic pains resulting from President Putin’s aggression “has not seemed to make him flinch at all… The Russians will annex Crimea, and at that point the rest of the Western world has a decision to make about those sanctions on Monday.”
Krauthammer claimed Putin is “now in a position to overrun eastern Ukraine if he wants.” He explained that Ukrainian military forces are likely preparing for that possible attack. “[That] means the absorption of the Crimean peninsula goes entirely unchallenged. So even if he doesn’t invade, Putin has won this round.”
Baier couldn’t help but air his own frustration over the lack of interest in such an urgent situation. “Isn’t it striking how little focus is on this crisis in Europe?” he asked. “As a country invades another country, is redrawing a map? And yet it seems like it’s on page A6 or something?”
“Europe decided 70 years ago it would depend on us,” Krauthammer agreed. “And now it’s looking at a threat — the worst since the end of the Cold War — and America seems quite uninterested. It’s all on the interior pages.”
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