Fomer U.S. ambassador discusses Ukrainian conflict

BRISTOL, Va. - A former U.S. ambassador to Poland was in Bristol on Thursday night to talk about the Ukrainian conflict. 

Victor Ashe spoke at the Bristol Public Library as a lecture for the King Institute for Security and Intelligence Studies.

Ashe told us he thinks Russia's presence in Crimea is an effort by Russian President Vladimir Putin to regain land lost after the Cold War.

He also said President Obama has limited resources to deal with the conflict.

"It'll take a while to implement," said Ashe. "I think you freeze bank accounts of Russian oligarchs, you deny them visas. Most Russian oligarchs have large bank accounts and property holdings here in the U.S., Manhattan and Miami, and you make them feel some pressure and they, in turn, put pressure on Russia."

Ashe told us the success of the sanctions will depend on whether or not the European powers help out.

Ashe served as an ambassador to Poland from 2004 to 2009, while President George W. Bush was in office. He was also the mayor of Knoxville for 16 years.

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