(CNN) – Rep. Mike Rogers said Sunday he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin has even more aspirations in Ukraine - and the troops to back them up.
Rogers is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and said he based his belief on information from U.S. intelligence officials.
“(Putin) has put all the military units he would need to move into Ukraine on its eastern border and is doing exercises. We see him moving forces in the south in a position where they could take the southern region over to Moldova,” Rogers said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Russian lawmakers authorized the annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula last week, after troops crossed the border into the region following deadly internal protests and ultimately the overthrow of the Ukrainian government in Kiev earlier this month.
NATO’s top military commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, said Sunday in Brussels, Belgium that Russia has a very sizable force along Ukraine’s borders and is “very, very ready.”
For America’s part, Rogers said while he wouldn’t support sending in military personnel on the ground, the U.S. should still provide Ukrainians with defensive weapons and medical supplies, to help protect themselves from further Russian incursions.
Rogers also said Americans should re-engage in this situation, because the United States stands for freedom.
“You have individuals who are for independence and their own personal liberty, fighting against a country that wants to take them over,” Rogers said.