News / Europe

Obama Hosts Ukrainian PM in Signal to Russia

Obama Hosts Ukrainian Prime Minister in Signal to Russiai
X
March 13, 2014 2:30 AM
President Barack Obama welcomed interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to the White House Wednesday as part of U.S. efforts to defuse the growing crisis between Washington and Moscow. VOA's Luis Ramirez reports.
Obama Hosts Ukrainian Prime Minister in Signal to Russia
Luis Ramirez
President Barack Obama welcomed interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to the White House Wednesday as part of U.S. efforts to defuse the growing crisis between Washington and Moscow over the situation in Ukraine's Crimean region.
 
Prime Minister Yatsenyuk was welcomed at the White House with all the fanfare of a head of state visit as Obama hosted the Ukrainian leader in the Oval Office.  The welcome was meant as a sign that Ukraine's new government has U.S. support and recognition.
 
"It is a pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to the Oval Office, to the White House. I think all of us have seen the courage of the Ukrainian people in standing up on behalf of democracy,” said Obama/
 
The message is meant for Russia and is Washington's latest attempt to get the Russians to call their troops back to their bases from the positions they have taken in Ukraine's Crimea region.
 
Despite U.S. efforts to reduce tensions, the crisis is deepening, as a Russian-sponsored referendum draws near in Crimea that could decide whether the region splits off from Ukraine and potentially joins Russia.
 
Obama said Russia could choose another path.
 
"We will not recognize, certainly, any referendum that goes forward. My hope is that as a consequence of diplomatic efforts over the next several days, that there will be a rethinking of the process that's been put forward," said Obama.  
 
The Ukrainian leader thanked Obama for his support.
 
"Mr. President, it is all about the freedom. We fight for our freedom. We fight for our independence. We fight for our sovereignty and we will never surrender," said Yatsenyuk.
 
The United States has sent additional warplanes to central Europe, but maintains it does not want a military solution. 
 
Washington announced it is now enforcing visa restrictions laid out last week - part of the cost that Washington said Moscow will pay if it does not stop interfering in Crimea.
 
Secretary of State John Kerry met with the Ukrainian leader and will later head to London for more difficult talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. 
 
Whether the strong words have any effect on Russia's actions remains to be seen.
 
"We can say all we want, but Putin has taken Crimea and that's a fact.  And I think we have to draw a distinction.  If we want our words of unacceptability, of not recognizing this as not being legitimate.  If we want those words to mean something, we also have to be prepared to take actions," said Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO.
 
Ukraine's new leader leaves Washington with a package of U.S. support to boost his fragile government, including $1 billion in loan guarantees that are pending congressional approval.

You May Like

Yemen Brings US, Iran Closer to Naval Face-off

US sending two more ships to waters off coast of Yemen to take part in 'maritime security operations' More

Minorities Become Majority Across US

From 2000 to 2013, minorities became the majority in 78 counties in the United States. Here's where those demographic shifts are happening More

Japan's Maglev Train Breaks Own Speed Record

Seven-car 'magnetic levitation' train traveled at more than 600 kilometers per hour during test run Tuesday More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 13, 2014 12:06 PM
Nobody seems to understand what the US means by freedom and liberty nowadays. Why should this man talk about freedom and deny same to the Crimean region? What I see is a situation where the much boasting will rather aggravate the situation. It is not enough that the US is saying it does not have the military option, it is better to see Russia in the light of what it is - a military power that cannot be easily threatened by facebook-type bully. To call a spade a spade, the US should spelt out what exactly it is doing to assuage Russia so it can agree to leave Crimea. But what is the true solution, to abandon Crimea's hunger for self actualization just because the West must be seen to win even where its winning is detrimental to common sense? No. Crimea's self determination must be taken into account - Obama supporting Yatsenyuk or not.

by: Igor from: Russia
March 13, 2014 5:27 AM
Yatsenyuk said "it is all about the freedom. We fight for our freedom. We fight for our independence. We fight for our sovereignty.."
But he must keep in mind that he does not stand for the whole population. Ukrainians in the South East and Crimea do not need his kind of lawless freedom and independence. As to sovereignty, Crime used to belong to Russia and will be returned to Russia because the people there love freedom and independence from Kiev. It is their will.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs