March 19, 2014 11:22 AM EDT

Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton warned late Tuesday that other countries near Russia could be in danger if Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Crimea goes without consequences

Clinton, whose comments on foreign policy are being closely watched as she mulls a possible 2016 presidential bid, described Russia’s annexation of the disputed territory from Ukraine as a violation of international law, the Associated Press reports. Speaking at an event in Montreal, she recommended sanctions against Russia and more support for Ukraine’s new government.

“If [Putin’s] allowed to get away with that, I think you’ll see a lot of other countries either directly facing Russian aggression or suborned with their political systems so that they are so intimidated that in effect they are transformed into vassals, not sovereign democracies,” Clinton said.

Clinton also said Europe needs to decrease its dependency on Russian oil and gas by utilizing alternative energy sources. She described Russia’s actions as symptomatic of a “clash of values” and “an effort by Putin to re-write the boundaries of post-WWII Europe.”


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