News / archive

Merkel: Russia Risks 'Massive' Damage in Ukraine Crisis

Merkel Ukraine
Merkel Ukraine
VOA News
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that Russia risks "massive" political and economic damage if it does not change course in the Ukraine crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to Gregor Gyisi of the Left party answer her speech on the government's policy on Ukraine at the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament in Berlin on March 13, 2014.German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to Gregor Gyisi of the Left party answer her speech on the government's policy on Ukraine at the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament in Berlin on March 13, 2014.
x
German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to Gregor Gyisi of the Left party answer her speech on the government's policy on Ukraine at the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament in Berlin on March 13, 2014.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens to Gregor Gyisi of the Left party answer her speech on the government's policy on Ukraine at the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament in Berlin on March 13, 2014.
In a speech to the German parliament, Ms. Merkel said Ukraine's territorial integrity is "not up for discussion."

The West and Russia have been locked in a tense standoff over Russia's military incursion into Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

In Washington, meanwhile, Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate hearing it is unclear whether Russia is willing to negotiate with Ukraine and the international community to resolve the conflict over Crimea peacefully.

"The question mark is, is Russia prepared to find a way to negotiate with Ukraine, with the contact group, with the other countries involved, in order to be able to resolve this in a way that respects their legitimate interests - and they have legitimate interests - but respects them in a way that doesn't violate international law and isn't at the butt of a rifle and of massive military imprint."

Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, are to discuss Ukraine Friday in a face-to-face meeting in London.

U.S. President Barack Obama warned Russia again Wednesday that the West will "apply costs" to Moscow if it continues to interfere in Ukrainian affairs.

Speaking at the White House alongside interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Obama said Washington "completely rejects" Crimea's planned referendum Sunday on whether to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. He said the vote, "patched together in a few weeks," is a violation of international law.

Yatsenyuk thanked Washington for its support, and said his government is "absolutely ready and willing" for talks with Moscow. But he said Ukraine will never surrender.  He also said his government is preparing to sign an association agreement with the European Union later this month.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator John McCain is set to lead a bipartisan delegation to Kyiv Thursday. A spokesman described the visit as a show of congressional support for the interim government, "and for the Ukrainian people's aspirations for freedom, democracy and territorial integrity."

Republican McCain and his Senate Democratic colleague Christopher Murphy visited Kyiv in December, at the height of anti-government protests that eventually forced pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych to flee the country.

On Wednesday, leaders of the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations called on Russia to, in their words, "cease all efforts to change the status of Crimea contrary to Ukrainian law."

The G7 - which includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - also said it will not recognize the referendum's outcome.

In Berlin, German Chancellor Merkel said the European Union will impose sanctions on Russia if it does not move to set up a contact group to discuss the Crimea crisis.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Maxcraft
March 13, 2014 4:02 PM
The headline says it all - and is exactly why Merkel's threats won't work, is why Europe and the USA are looking increasingly like thoughtless fools.

25 million Soviets died fighting the last German Chancellor who made threats against Russia on behalf of a pro-German government installed overnight in Kiev. Every inch of Crimea is soaked with the blood of those 25 million people - mostly Russians, as well as Ukrainians and others - who fought to defend it 1941-1945, and they are the only ones who should be involved now.

So I don't think Merkel is very wise to talk of "the risk of massive damage" at Russia. Her time would be much better spent reflecting on the several occasions throughout history that similar words from German Chancellors have come back to haunt them.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs