In a Time magazine op-ed, Rand Paul said:
“Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is a gross violation of that nation’s sovereignty and an affront to the international community. His continuing occupation of Ukraine is completely unacceptable, and Russia’s President should be isolated for his actions.… Putin must be punished for violating the Budapest Memorandum, and Russia must learn that the U.S. will isolate it if it insists on acting like a rogue nation.”
“This whole thing that Putin is the big cause of the trouble and yet there’s pretty good evidence that the Europeans as well as the American government had to contrive to have the overthrow of a government that most people say had been elected,” Paul said.
“And then for them to come along and say ‘Well, it’s an illegal government,’ and they want to have a referendum now, you know, in Crimea ‘Oh no that’s not permissible’,” he added.
“And they say everything Putin does is illegal. He’s no angel, but actually he has some law on his side. They have contracts and agreements and treaties for a naval base there and the permission to go by that area,” the former Texas Rep. explained.
“It reminds me a little bit about what would happen if all of sudden they said that the Americans are occupying Guantanamo illegally and we’ve just invaded Guantanamo,” he said. “It’s such a façade and hiding the truth.”
“I think people have a right of self-determination. It’s written to the international law. It’s a moral principle and of course if you believe in limited government, everybody should have the right to minimize their government and there should be a right of secession.”
“We loved secession when we seceded from Great Britain, and we loved secession when the Soviet Union broke up,” Paul said.
“I cannot understand how we could we argue against an election. You know that to me sounds like democratic.”