News / USA

Washington React: White House Downplays Role of Natural Gas in Ukraine Crisis

Obama Opposes Crimea Referendum, Orders Sanctionsi
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
Cindy Saine
March 07, 2014 1:50 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday took a strong stand against a planned referendum on the future of Ukraine's Crimea region. As VOA’s Cindy Saine reports, congressional leaders are pledging support for those sanctions, and for the people of Ukraine.
Related video report by Cindy Saine.
VOA News
The White House on Friday appeared to downplay the possibility of changing U.S. policy on exporting natural gas to address the situation in Ukraine.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Air Force One that policy changes would not have an immediate effect and noted that stocks in Europe were above normal levels because of a mild winter.

Europe and Ukraine are key export markets for Russian natural gas.   

Obama, Putin Find Little Common Ground on Ukraine

Earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but the two leaders found little common ground. The White House says President Obama told Putin the presence of Russian forces in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula is a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty.

The Kremlin says Putin denounced Ukraine's new Western-backed government as "illegitimate" and said Russia cannot "ignore" calls for help from Ukraine's Russia-leaning east and south.

Putin's spokesman said Friday that despite "deep disagreement'' with the West over Ukraine, Moscow hopes some common ground can be found and a new Cold War will not begin, Russian news agencies reported.

"There still remains hope...that some points of agreement can be found as a result of dialogue - which our partners, thank God, have not yet rejected,'' state-run RIA quoted spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying. "I believe that it [a new Cold War] has not started and I would like to believe it will not start,'' Peskov said.

According to the White House, President Obama, in his phone conversation with Putin, called for direct talks between Kyiv and Moscow that would be mediated by the international community. Obama called for all Russian forces to return to their bases and for international monitors to ensure the safety of Ukrainians, including ethnic Russians.

In Washington Thursday, the president authorized sanctions, including visa restrictions, against those found to have violated Ukraine's territorial integrity. The EU also imposed measures against Russia, suspending talks on visas and a new economic agreement.

On Capitol Hill, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to provide loan guarantees of $1 billion to Ukraine. That measure now goes to the U.S. Senate. The European Union is prepared to extend a $15 billion bailout to Kyiv if Ukraine can reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rick from: D.C.
March 07, 2014 2:37 PM
Yeah well, it seems to me that Yanuk did not have the support of his own military and fled like a rat when he couldn't kill enough people. If this is the definition of a "democratically elected" official then to hell with it. In any event, he quickly began assuming dictatorial powers after his election so was Ukraine even a democracy when he fled in fear and shame? Sober up stooges...

by: Margaret Syms from: US
March 07, 2014 2:20 PM
I just wanted to say to all the Republicans here who take delight in pointing out Obama's incompetence - that it was Bush who insisted that Israel withdraw from Gaza - unilaterally - and gave us Hamas..!! so please

by: Muhammed from: Sacramento
March 07, 2014 2:05 PM
I see some terrorists are already leading Chechnya with official titles. Let me know if you need solid proof, Mr.Meanbill.

by: musawi melake
March 07, 2014 11:59 AM
Mr. Obama's idea of asking for direct talks between Moscow and Kiev is lunacy!, for the rulers in Kiev did not get there in proper manner, through the ballots, but have ditched their way in to the throne. Now, with the backing of the Western world, whcih supports them just to be against the Russians, they claim decissions made at arenas supported by the people, are illiegal, sheer nonsense! Just because the US holds the strings on everything in the world(exploiting the poorer world with the MNTs) should not be interpreted as, that whatever comes out of White-House is ultimate. The alternately thinking world should teach these power-mongering West how to behave civilized. African nations should reconsider their agreements with the uS and the other Westernp powers and look for Russia and China to progress.

by: meanbill from: USA
March 07, 2014 10:57 AM
TRUTH BE TOLD..... Obama and the EU eject reality, in trying to force Putin to negotiate face to face with the US and EU supported (neo-Nazi, White-Hammer, and other ultra-Right-Wing extremist terrorists), who ousted the legal Democratic President, and Parliament, and the Democratic elected Ukraine government... "You don't negotiate with terrorists" that is the rule with all Democratic governments... (BUT?) .. the US and EU is still trying to force Putin to negotiate with the (neo-Nazi, White-Power, ultra-Right-Wing extremist terrorists), who seized by force the legal Democratic government of Ukraine.... WHAT part of "You don't negotiate with terrorist" don't the US and EU understand? ... (LOGIC?) .. The US and EU is trying to force Putin to negotiate with the Ukraine terrorist government, to give it credibility? ... (Will Putin play the fool for the US and EU), and negotiate with the Ukraine terrorists? ........ REALLY?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs