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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora