Former US official: US should have imposed sanctions on Russia in 2008

Stephen Hadley; Photo by AP/Alex Brandon, 30 Apr 2014 - 22:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

The US failed by not imposing economic sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Georgia, a former Bush administration official believes.

Stephen Hadley, the National Security Advisor to ex-President George Bush made this comment while speaking at the Atlantic Council’s 'Toward a Europe Whole and Free' conference today.

He claimed at that time, the US was in the middle of the biggest financial and economic meltdown since the Great Depression so it was a difficult time but he believed not being stricter to Russia was a big mistake.

"I think the [the US-Russian relations] reset [in 2009] came much too soon and let the Russians out of the corner much too soon,” Hadley said.

"I think most people would say our sanctions in response were too slow. We’ve threatened [Putin] with a big punch for deterring him from something more than with a punch for what he had already done. I think that probably was read by Putin as weakness.”