The crisis over Ukraine will mark a turning point in the future of freedom.

Russia’s decision to go ahead with plans to hold an illegal referendum in Crimea today reveals the limits of the Obama Administration’s policy, and demonstrates that it is now time to move beyond diplomatic statements and threats of economic sanctions.

We must, therefore, begin by immediately withdrawing from the New START treaty, which Vladimir Putin seems ready to ignore anyway, and then proceed to redouble the U.S. missile defense program. Following that, we must also rapidly pursue a more aggressive free-market energy policy that offers real alternatives to dependence on Russian energy.

Russia’s actions must be addressed, as they threaten to open a fault line of instability in the world.

Simply put, the Kremlin’s lawlessness has now jeopardized one of the most stable spheres of peace and prosperity on the planet. We not only have to be concerned about the future of freedom in the Ukraine, but Russia’s dark shadow on the transatlantic partnership.

The time for ping-pong diplomacy with Moscow is clearly over, and the White House needs to be much more concerned with dealing with the damage to the America’s partnerships.

We must make a powerful statement to Moscow that the transatlantic partnership is a vital interest to the United States. We must reinvigorate the most successful strategic partnership in modern history—the family of freedom-loving Atlantic nations.