News / Europe

Obama Rules Out Military Option in Ukraine

Obama Rules Out Military Option in Ukrainei
X
April 18, 2014 4:12 AM
President Barack Obama has expressed hope that a plan to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine, reached Thursday in Geneva, will lead to restoration of peace and security for all citizens of Ukraine. Obama told reporters in Washington that if Russia fails to take steps to defuse the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the United States and Europe will respond with tough measures. But he ruled out a military intervention. Zlatica Hoke has more.

Obama Rules Out Military Option in Ukraine

Zlatica Hoke
President Barack Obama has expressed hope that a plan to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine, reached Thursday in Geneva, will lead to restoration of peace and security for all citizens of Ukraine. Obama told reporters in Washington that if Russia fails to take steps to defuse the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the United States and Europe will respond with tough measures, but he ruled out a military intervention.
 
Obama said the sanctions already imposed on Russia have had a documented impact on its economy, and that additional measures could make the situation worse.
 
"But we don't have an interest in hurting ordinary Russians just for the sake of it.  Our strong preference would be for Mr. Putin to follow through on what is a glimmer of hope coming out of these Geneva talks, but we are not going to count on it until we see it," said Obama.
 
Obama spoke after news from Geneva that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and their European counterpart Catherine Ashton had agreed on a plan to de-escalate tensions and prevent bloodshed between Ukrainian military forces and pro-Russian militias. Lavrov announced after the meeting that the OSCE mission already in Ukraine will monitor the implementation of the plan.
 
"All illegally armed groups must be disarmed. All illegally seized buildings must be returned to the legitimate owners. All streets, squares and other public spaces in all Ukrainian cities must be vacated. An amnesty must be granted to all protesters, except those found guilty of illegal crimes," said Lavrov.
 
Armed pro-Russian groups have taken over government buildings in many eastern Ukrainian cities and Russia has amassed forces along its border with Ukraine, sparking fears of a repeat of the Crimea scenario.
 
Former U.S. permanent representative to NATO Kurt Volker does not put much faith in Thursday's agreement with Moscow.
 
"It is deliberately misleading about what’s going on in Ukraine and what its own actions are in Ukraine. And when it says it’s agreed to de-escalation, I am convinced that what Russia means is that they expect Ukraine and the West to de-escalate and allow Russia to go about doing what it’s doing. So I don’t see this agreement is really amounting to very much,” said Volker.
 
Volker said the U.S. and NATO must show strength and resolve to deter Russia from further steps, and that will create stability.
 
Obama on Thursday promised tough action to deter Russia, but he ruled out any military option.
 
"Because this is not a situation that would be amenable to a clear military solution.  What we have to do is to create an environment in which irregular forces disarm, that the seizing of buildings cease, that a national dialogue by Ukrainians - not by Russian, not by Americans or anybody else but by Ukrainians - takes place," said Obama.
 
Obama said Ukraine needs to implement reforms that meet the interests of all its various groups, hold elections and start working on its economy.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid