News / Europe

After Disputed E. Ukraine Votes, US Focuses on May 25 Poll

Washington Focuses on May 25 Ukraine Electioni
X
May 11, 2014 7:45 PM
As some eastern Ukrainians vote on possible independence from Kyiv, VOA's Michael Bowman reports that much of Washington remains focused on the country’s May 25 national elections.
Michael Bowman
Referendums went forward Sunday in eastern Ukraine in two regions seeking possible independence from Kyiv, despite widespread statements condemning the votes as illegal and illegitimate. The controversial votes were held as Ukraine prepares for a nationwide poll on May 25 to elect a new president.

Adding to the tension is that there is no sign Russian President Vladimir Putin is making good on last week’s promise to withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border, said U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

“They are not leaving as far as we can tell.  You would have to ask President Putin as to why he says they are leaving, when in fact they are not,” Hagel said on ABC's This Week news program.

Sanctions imposed by the United States and its NATO allies do not appear to have altered Moscow’s aggressive posture toward Ukraine.

“Russia continues to isolate itself for a short term gain.  The Russians may feel that somehow they are winning. But the world is not just about short term,” Hagel added.

Senator Kelly Ayotte, a Republican, wants the United States to target entire sectors of the Russian economy before Ukraine’s presidential elections May 25.

“This is the same playbook that we saw in Crimea playing out in eastern Ukraine.  It is an insurgency-type action by the Russians to create unrest,” Ayotte said.

“It is time for the administration to issue the sectoral sanctions before the [May 25] elections, so those elections will not be disrupted, so they can go forward.  I believe issuing the sanctions when the elections are interfered with are too late,” she said.

Senator Lindsey Graham, also a Republican, wants President Barack Obama to seek formal congressional approval of further punitive measures against Russia.

“Instead of doing this by executive order, Mr. President, come to the Congress and see if you could get bipartisan buy-in (support) for sectoral sanctions, which would send a stronger message to Putin.  It would hurt the Russian economy more, and I think it would bolster our allies,” Graham said.

Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat, agrees Russia must pay a heavier price, but says the United States cannot do it alone.

“I think we should be pushing the Europeans hard for sectoral-based sanctions,” Murphy said.

“The fact is, the United States acting unilaterally on sanctions may harm our security interests, not advance them.  U.S. sanctions alone are not enough to change the calculus on the ground in Moscow. And ultimately they may give political impetus to Putin within Russia to continue his provocations,” he added.

Late Saturday, the Obama administration restated its threat to “impose greater costs on Russia", but did not say when it might do so.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: peter from: montreal
May 12, 2014 10:59 PM
Guys let's not forget who is the real terrorist here...
yeah we can piss on the russians but
think about Tunisia , egypt ,libya , irak , afghanistan , syria ,
venezuela , north korea , iran , pakistan , yemen , shall i go on?
when you live in a glasshouse dont throw stones at the neighbours...


by: James McQuaid from: Lansing, MI
May 12, 2014 9:57 AM
The Russians are pathetic and disgusting; still bitching because the Serbs weren't allowed to carry out mass murder. These criminals have no shame or semblance of decency.


by: Wiktor Protsenko from: Kyiv
May 12, 2014 8:27 AM
In its unannounced war against Ukraine, Russia relies on covert operations which fall squarely within the definition of "international terrorism" under 18 U.S.C. § 2331.
Specifically, armed operatives of Russia, acting under disguise, attempt to influence the policy of Ukrainian government by intimidation or coercion. They also try to affect the conduct of a government by assassinations and kidnapping, taking by force government buildings, police posts and military bases of Ukraine.
This activity is being conducted on large scale and over prolonged time period, despite condemnation by the USA, G-7, NATO, EU and UN.
Please sign the petition urging the White House to officially designate Russia as "State sponsor of terrorism” - http://wh.gov/lwuL9
Such status of country would outlaw business of American companies with Russia. Even considering of the petition by Senate and President of USA creating great inconvenience Russian authorities.


by: HUANG JUN from: CHINA
May 12, 2014 5:25 AM
The May 25th referendum is illegal because it is held by an illegal government in Kiev, which is not recognized my many Ukrainians.


by: meanbill from: USA
May 11, 2014 11:26 PM
(The US, EU, used the NATO Charter, (created phony NATO rules overriding the UN Charter?), to bypass the UN Security Council, and forced Yugoslavia to give up their sovereign land, to create KOSOVO?) -- and Kosovo isn't recognized by a lot of countries either, is it?
NOW, Russia will use the same NATO rules, (for humanitarian reasons), to protect the Donetsk and Luhansk independent states, and people, from attacks on their (now) sovereign territory by the illegal pro-western Kiev coup leaders? -- "The Art of War" ..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid