(CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, slammed President Obama for not taking strong enough action against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea, arguing that the president is setting a precedent that regional powers can hold vulnerable countries hostage to achieve their economic goals.
“We must never allow any nation or terror group to hold any region of the world hostage to their demands,” Rubio said in a weekly GOP address. “We should never have to ask a regional power for permission in order to conduct commerce with any nation. And we should always stand on the side of the vulnerable and the oppressed.”
Rubio also criticized President Obama for his overall foreign policy in dealing with Putin, saying that it lacks strategy and instead is based on politics.
“President Obama talks tough about Vladimir Putin. But his actions have not gone far enough to change Putin’s calculation that the benefits of his aggression outweigh the costs,” Rubio said. “Instead of shaping world events, he has often simply reacted to them. “
Rubio touted his support for the Ukraine support bill introduced by Senate GOP leaders last week to increase Russian sanctions and provide military aid to the Ukraine. The bill calls for Obama to speed up deployments of missile defense in Eastern Europe, provide military aid to Ukraine and impose tougher economic sanctions on Putin and his inner circle.