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Updated Apr 15, 2014 - 10:58 am

US Sen. John McCain mocks EU's Russia sanctions

U.S. Sens. John McCain, center, and John Hoeven, right, meet with Norwegian Minister of Defence, Ine Erik Soereide in Oslo Monday April 14, 2014. Russia and Ukraine were topics for discussion during their talks. (AP Photo/NTB Scanpix, Erlend Aas)

TALLINN, Estonia -- Sen. John McCain of Arizona has dismissed the European Union's sanctions on Russia after the crisis in Ukraine as "almost a joke" during a tour of the Baltic countries.

Speaking in Estonia on Tuesday, McCain said the EU's sanctions against Russian individuals were "minimal."

He also called for "strong, tough American leadership" to shape the West's response to Russia's actions in the Ukraine crisis.

McCain and Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota are visiting Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania this week.

The U.S. Embassy in Tallinn said the two Republicans were traveling "in their capacity as members of the Senate to assess the security situation and explore ways that the U.S. could offer assistance and assurance to NATO members."

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