President Obama put Russian President Vladimir Putin on notice Wednesday evening, warning that further actions to destabilize the interim Ukrainian government will result in consequences from both the United States and Europe.
In an interview with CBS News White House Correspondent Major Garrett , Mr. Obama said it was “absolutely clear” that Russia had violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by annexing Crimea last month, and they continue to do so by supporting “non-state militias” in southern and eastern Ukraine.
Still, the White House has not abandoned diplomatic solutions. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Geneva Wednesday evening to prepare for four-party talks with European, Russian and Ukrainian officials.
European Union has indicated it may increase sanctions against Russia
April 16, 2014
NATO boss Anders Fogh Rasmussen has announced military alliance will move troops up to the Russian border in response to resistance by eastern Ukrainians to an operation by the coup government to shut down a secession movement in Donetsk, Slaviansk and other areas of the country.
The move by NATO arrives as the parliament in Transnistria on the Moldova-Ukraine border unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the international community to recognize it as a sovereign independent state. “According to the universally recognized norms of international law, a right of people to self-determination should be the basis of political decisions. Every state should respect this right,” said deputy speaker Sergei Cheban.
A 2006 referendum held in the region that broke away from Romanian-speaking Moldova after the collapse of the Soviet Union showed 97 percent of residents were in favor of independence. The referendum also indicated the majority is interested in joining the Russian Federation.
Earlier this month, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said his government supports Moldova’s territorial integrity. The population of Transnistria consists primarily of Russian-speaking people.
Rasmussen said the alliance’s decision will result in more sorties flown over the Baltic region by NATO aircraft and “allied ships will deploy to the Baltic Sea, the Eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere, as required.” In addition, troops will be deployed “to enhance our preparedness, training and exercises,” he said, and NATO “will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water, and more readiness on the land.”
Rasmussen promised the measures will go into effect “straight away” and “more will follow, if needed, in the weeks and months to come.”
In addition to the more aggressive move by NATO, the European Union has indicated it may increase sanctions against Russia. Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy boss, said when “it comes to stage three, the preparatory work is in an advanced stage.” Kocijancic said that a meeting to discuss additional economic sanctions would be up to the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy.
Ron Paul and others argue that economic sanctions are a form of warfare. Paul believes sanctions “are imposed by people looking to start a war” and moves by the United States and the European
Union are “criminal, it’s stealing and will just aggravate things and escalate things. Sanctions are acts of war … to freeze assets if you’re at war with Hitler and there’s a declared war, that’s a little different, but to do this so easily and casually as we do, that’s just looking for a fight.”This article was posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 1:25 pm
Corpse of Cold War propaganda enthusiastically resurrected by mainstream media
The establishment has begun a new mass marketing campaign for World War III, equating Vladimir Putin with Adolf Hitler.
The fact that the current crisis in Ukraine was instigated by a US-backed coup which toppled a democratically elected government has been conveniently forgotten.
KRAMATORSK/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Separatists flew the Russian flag on armored vehicles taken from the Ukrainian army on Wednesday, humiliating a Kiev government operation to recapture eastern towns controlled by pro-Moscow partisans.
Six armored personnel carriers were driven into the rebel-held town of Slaviansk to waves and shouts of “Russia! Russia!”. It was not immediately clear whether they had been captured by rebels or handed over to them by Ukrainian deserters.
Another 15 armored troop carriers full of paratroops were surrounded and halted by a pro-Russian crowd at a town near an airbase. They were allowed to retreat only after the soldiers had handed over the firing pins from their rifles to a rebel commander.
The military setback leaves Kiev looking weak on the eve of a peace conference on Thursday, when its foreign minister will meet his Russian, U.S. and European Union counterparts in Geneva.
Moscow has responded to the overthrow of Moscow-backed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich in February by declaring the interim Kiev government an illegitimate gang of fascists. It has also announced its right to intervene militarily across the former Soviet Union to protect Russian speakers, a new doctrine that has overturned decades of post-Cold War diplomacy.
The EU took a step towards imposing tougher economic sanctions on Russia by informing its member states of the likely impact of proposed measures on each of them. Countries have a week to respond before the European Commission starts drawing up plans for sanctions on energy, finance and trade.
To keep the sensitive material from leaking, each of the 28 member states was told only of the expected risks its own economy would face. The information was handed to each EU ambassador in a sealed brown envelope.
Russia seized and annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula last month, and its armed supporters have now taken control over swathes of Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland.
DONETSK, Ukraine — Tensions escalated in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, with pro-Russian gunmen storming City Hall in the sprawling city of Donetsk and a cluster of Ukrainian troops meant to be restoring order in the region apparently defecting to the side of separatists.
The events signaled a challenge ahead for the pro-Western Ukrainian government on the second day of its campaign to quell the restive east and came as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Ukraine was on the verge “of a civil war.”
A line of combat vehicles flying Russian flags rolled Wednesday morning into Slovyansk, a city of 120,000 where separatists have set up roadblocks since Saturday. One soldier named Andrei, speaking to the Associated Press, identified the men as part of the 25th Brigade of Ukraine’s airborne forces that had switched to the side of pro-Russian forces. The troops, in green camouflage and packing automatic weapons and grenade launchers, received a warm welcome from local separatists, AP said.
The report could not be immediately verified, and it was unclear whether the troops, if they did defect, were acting on their own free will.
Around 10 a.m. local time, a squad of separatists backed by seven masked gunmen in camouflage stormed the seat of Donetsk’s mayor and local council.
By Wednesday afternoon, more than 40 men, some masked and heavily armed, were occupying the building but still allowing workers and local officials to go about their business inside city hall.
BRUSSELS — The head of NATO pledged on Wednesday to immediately step up military patrols along the alliance’s vast eastern border in response to mounting evidence of Russian interference in Ukraine.
The announcement by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, appeared to be another sign that the confrontation with Russia over Ukraine was becoming more acute. But Mr. Rasmussen emphasized that the move was designed to be a deterrent rather than preparation for conflict.
“Our decisions today are about defense, deterrence and de-escalation,” Mr. Rasmussen said in a statement posted on the NATO website. “NATO will protect every ally and defend against any threat against our fundamental security,” he said.
Even so, the moves represent a significant strengthening of NATO’s posture in a region where it is already operating an air-policing mission in the Baltic states and surveillance flights over Poland and Romania.