News / Europe

Putin Calls Obama to Discuss Ukraine Crisis

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a Security Council meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 28, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a Security Council meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 28, 2014.
VOA News
Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. President Barack Obama Friday to discuss a U.S. proposal for resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

The White House says Obama suggested that Putin offer a written response to the proposed diplomatic solution presented to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov by Secretary of State John Kerry earlier in the week.

A White House statement about the call did not give details of the proposal Kerry gave Lavrov, but the United States has been pressing Russia to pull back its troops to their Crimean bases and allow international monitors to go into Crimea to assure that the ethnic Russian minority there is safe.

Obama says the Ukrainian government continues to take a "restrained and de-escalatory" approach to the crisis and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations.

Lavrov and Kerry are expected to meet again in the coming days to discuss the next steps.

Earlier, in an interview with CBS, Obama said Russia's military moves near the Ukrainian border may be an effort to intimidate Ukraine.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Putin has assured him that Russia has no intention of making additional moves into Ukrainian territory.

In comments to reporters at the U.N. Friday, Ban urged Russia and Ukraine to avoid "hasty actions" and immediately engage in direct and constructive dialogue to resolve their problems.

On Thursday, the head of Ukraine's national security council said Russia has close to 100,000 troops along Ukraine's borders in the north, south, and east. He said Russian forces are in full readiness to strike. Western experts believe the number of Russian forces near eastern and southern Ukraine is close to 30,000.

Russia says the soldiers are involved in "springtime exercises" and has assured the United States they will not cross the border.

Additionally, a top Russian security official told Putin on Friday that there has been "a sharp increase in external threats to the state."

Alexander Malevany, the Federal Security Service's counter-terrorism director, also said what he called the "legitimate desire of the peoples of the Crimea and eastern regions of Ukraine to be together with Russia" had aroused "hysteria" among the United States and its allies.

Also Friday, Russia described as "counterproductive" a U.N. resolution that refuses to recognize its annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. Russia's Foreign Ministry said the U.N. General Assembly resolution will only complicate efforts to settle Ukraine's internal political crisis.

The U.N. General Assembly passed the non-binding resolution on Thursday, with 100 countries in favor, 11 opposed and 58 abstaining.

Crimea's majority Russian residents voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum earlier this month that Western powers deemed illegal.

Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych called Friday for referendums to determine the status of all Ukrainian regions. He said only a nationwide referendum and not an early presidential election can stabilize Ukraine and preserve its sovereignty and integrity.
 
Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

update 'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 29, 2014 11:11 AM
Between Obama and Putin, seems one is a teacher, the other a school boy. Or one is a boss, the other a subordinate. Obama must have issued an earlier query concluding like, 'explain to the undersigned, in writing, within 24 hours, why you premeditated to, and carried out the annexation of, Crimea; failing which... disciplinary measures will be meted out to you'. These Crimean officials are chronic liars - or how did their eyes form 100,000 soldiers when in reality there may not be up to 30,000? All for the sake of sympathy from Europe and America!

Kudos to Vladimir Putin for initiating that call. These days we see a lot of greatness in the wise and mighty stooping low to listen to the weak.I think Putin is trying to avert an escalation or aggravation of existing situation. Does Mr. Obama understand that this not a sign of weakness or a time to show a macho muscle? The situation in Ukraine is created by US and allies, and their efforts at ostracizing Russia on account of it has only led to deterioration of existing peace. Now there is a fear East Ukraine may go too, time is ticking! Obama should not think this is an opportunity for him to try score a high diplomatic point against Putin, instead he should cease the opportunity to help cement world peace using Russia's initiative right now. If the opportunity is wasted, it will be a return to more blame game and passive threats of what can be done to make life miserable in Moscow; all of which will prove futile when the chips are down.


by: Tia Gupta
March 29, 2014 2:27 AM
nice article.....


by: Todor from: Spain
March 29, 2014 12:55 AM
EU must find a way to decrease consumption of Russian gas. Russia is a threat to us as well as for Ukraine. We must not pay money and make aggressor stronger.

In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
March 29, 2014 1:17 AM
Putin and Russia is a threat to Spain, you say? ... PLEASE explain why Putin and Russia would want the heavy indebted Spain? ... Putin and Russia only care for the innocent Russian people in Ukraine, and will use the (NATO rules), like NATO used the "Humanitarian reasons" to attack Yugoslavia (Serbia), and forced them to summit land for KOSOVO.... (AND?) .. now Russia will use those same (NATO rules) to protect innocent Russians for "Humanitarian reasons" from the violence from ultra-right-wing Ukraine extremists...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid