Hillary Clinton Says Putin Will Decide If There’s ‘Another Cold War’

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Photo: MIKHAIL METZEL/AFP/GettyImages

It appears that Hillary Clinton has learned her lesson about making inflammatory historical references ... sort of. Speaking just hours after Vladimir Putin officially annexed Crimea on Tuesday, one might expect Clinton to bust out the Hitler comparison again, but instead she mused about whether we're headed for Cold War II. "I hope there’s not another Cold War," she said at an event hosted by Canada's Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. "Obviously, nobody wants to see that. I think that’s primarily up to Putin."

"What Putin did is illegal," she said, continuing with sarcasm in her voice:

It’s not because we gave the poor little Baltic states NATO protection. And people need to say that, and they need to be very clear: this is a clash of values and it’s an effort by Putin to rewrite the boundaries of post-World War II Europe. If he’s allowed to get away with that, then I think you’ll see a lot of other countries either directly facing Russian aggression, or suborned with their political systems so that they’re so intimidated, they’re in effect transformed into vassals, not sovereign democracies.

"How far this aggressiveness goes, I think, is really up to us," she added, explaining that she believes the U.S. should help promote gas and energy independence in Europe so Russia will have less sway over its neighbors. Doing this will require a certain type of "visionary leadership," which presumably she'll describe in greater detail as we get closer to 2016.