LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- President Obama is at least partly to blame for the crisis in Ukraine: that's the opinion of a U.S. Senator in Louisville to support Mitch McConnell.

Sen. Kelley Ayotte of New Hampshire is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and is getting some buzz as a potential Republican vice-presidential running mate. She says the Obama administration's policy of accommodation towards Russia -- the so-called "reset" -- has led to the current crisis in Ukraine.

Ayotte made the comments during a speech at the McConnell Center at U of L. She listed a series of conciliatory moves made by the Obama administration toward Russia -- from pulling back on missile defense systems in eastern Europe to ignoring Russian human rights violations.

Ayotte says Russian President Vladmir Putin has perceived those moves as weakness and it's emboldened him to become more aggressive.

She repeated that message during a news conference with Sen. Mitch McConnell, saying it's time to reset the reset.

Ayotte dismisses the referendum by the Ukrainian province of Crimea to join the Russian Federation. She says a real vote was impossible with Crimea surrounded by Russian troops. Ayotte says she does agree with the President's moves to impose economic sanctions against Russia, but says they need to be even stronger.

By the way, the campaign of Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes released a statement about Ayotte's visit, saying it's a ploy to try and improve McConnell's standing with women voters.

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