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July 24th, 2014
05:38 PM ET

Sen. Ayotte: It's time for Europe to step up on sanctions against Russia

(CNN) – A day before the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the United States expanded sanctions against Russia, targeting two banks, two energy companies, Ukraine separatists and defense companies.

But in the wake of the downing of Flight 17, and the U.S. now saying it has proof that Russia is firing into Ukraine, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, is calling on Europe to do more.

"It is time for Europe to step up," Ayotte said in an interview with CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper."

"Think about the Europeans that were murdered on Flight 17. This obviously was just horrific what happened to those individuals. It's been directly connected to the Russian-backed separatists. The responsibility for this really does lie with Vladimir Putin. And it's time for the Europeans to acknowledge this, and to step up, and to really take tougher actions against Russia," said Ayotte.

The Republican senator is also calling on the U.S. to issue tougher sanctions against Russia's energy and financial sectors.

For more or our interview with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, check out the video above.

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