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

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora