Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that President Obama has yet to provide a “serious response” to Russian President Vladimir Putin's effort to “restore the empire,” and he suggested a good move would be to arm Ukraine.

“Here is what I would do: I would be sending arms to the Ukrainian army. I would encourage the European Union to expand and take in Ukraine. … I would provide serious assistance to the Ukrainians so that they could defend themselves,” he said in a radio interview in Mt. Sterling, Ky.

He also told WMST's “Mid-Mornings on Main” with Dan Manley that the United States should revive a plan for missile defense of Czech Republic and Poland.

“All of those steps would indicate without sending in a single American soldier that the U.S. is serious in standing up to this kind of new form of Russian aggression,” said McConnell.

The senator’s office released his remarks, which included a hit on Obama’s foreign policy:

“You are hard pressed to name a single place in the world where we are in better shape now than we were when he came to office. When you think of Syria, you think of the endless discussions with Iran. And so you got Vladimir Putin sitting there looking at that -- a guy who believes that the breakup of the Soviet Union was the single biggest disaster, geopolitical disaster, of the previous century, who yearns to restore the empire -- and he looks at American leadership and concludes that they won't do anything. And we're not talking about sending in the troops here, nobody is talking about that, but clearly sanctioning a few friends of Putin's is not going to be viewed as a serious response. But, we are where we are.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at