White House YET AGAIN warns Russia "Against Seizing More Ukrainian Territory," How many times can Obama threaten "consequences" and be taken seriously?
The White House said Saturday it was concerned by what it called a "concerted campaign" by pro-Russian separatists to stoke tensions in eastern Ukraine, warning Russian President Vladimir Putin against using the events there as a pretext for seizing more Ukrainian territory.
In a phone call Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his concern with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the State Department said. Mr. Kerry made clear that if Russia doesn't take action to de-escalate and move its troops back from Ukraine's border, there would be consequences, the department said.
"We are very concerned by the concerted campaign we see under way in eastern Ukraine today by pro-Russian separatists, apparently with support from Russia, who are inciting violence and sabotage and seeking to undermine and destabilize the Ukrainian state," White House National Security Council spokeswoman Laura Lucas Magnuson said.
The White House said it saw similar "so-called protest activities" in Crimea before Russia's takeover of the Ukrainian territory last month. "We call on President Putin and his government to cease all efforts to destabilize Ukraine, and we caution against further military intervention," the White House spokeswoman said. . . . .
In a briefing to reporters, senior U.S. administration officials sounded further warnings against any Russian provocations in Ukraine."We believe that it is very important to signal that if Russia further escalates this situation they will be met with severe consequences," one official said. . . .From BBC:
18 March: Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses parliament, defending Moscow's actions on Crimea, then signs a bill to absorb the peninsula into the Russian Federation. Later, Ukraine says an officer has been killed as a military base is stormed in Simferopol, Crimea, the first such death in the region since pro-Russian forces took over in late February.From a transcript at the White House on March 14th:
President Obama: "Obviously on our minds right now is the situation in Ukraine. Ireland has been a strong voice in the European Council for the need to send a clear message of support for Ukrainian democracy and self-determination, and a strong message to Russia that it should not violate the integrity and the sovereignty of its neighbor. We continue to hope that there’s a diplomatic solution to be found, but the United States and Europe stand united not only in its message about Ukrainian sovereignty but also that there will be consequences if, in fact, that sovereignty continues to be violated." . . .From BBC:
12 March: Barack Obama pledges to stand with Ukraine during a meeting with interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the White House.
10 March: Armed men seize a military hospital in Simferopol.
8 March: The US and France warn of "new measures" against Russia if it does not withdraw its forces from Ukraine. Warning shots are fired at international monitors trying to enter Crimea. . . .
President Barack Obama on Friday issued a blunt and direct warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin: stay out of Ukraine.
If not, he said, there will be consequences — though he didn’t say what those might be.
“We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,” Obama said, speaking at the White House. “Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing.” . . .
In language that’s about as tough as it gets within diplomacy, Obama warned Russia against a “profound interference” and what would be a “clear violation” of international laws. . . .From USA Today:
Labels: Obama Foreign Policy