News / USA

Ukraine Crisis Emboldens Obama's US Critics

Ukraine Crisis Emboldens Obama's US Criticsi
X
May 04, 2014 6:58 PM
As tensions and turmoil escalate in Ukraine, America’s response to the crisis is becoming an increasingly contentious issue in Washington. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Michael Bowman
As tensions and turmoil escalate in Ukraine, America’s response to the crisis is becoming an increasingly contentious issue in Washington.

Deadly clashes in Odessa point to a grim reality: with every passing day, Ukraine teeters closer to civil war between a pro-Western government in Kyiv and pro-Russian militias backed by Moscow.

A new round of U.S. sanctions targeting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle has not altered Moscow’s aggressive posture toward Ukraine, a fact noted by President Barack Obama’s critics in Washington.

“President Obama talks tough about Vladimir Putin. But his actions have not gone far enough to change Putin’s calculation that the benefits of his aggression outweigh the costs,” said Republican Senator Marco Rubio.

Last week, Senate Republicans introduced a bill that would subject Russian banks and other key economic sectors to U.S. penalties.

“Our economic well-being is deeply dependent on our national security. The problem is that President Obama does not seem to understand this. Instead of shaping world events, he has often simply reacted to them,” Rubio said.

However, Obama is not ruling out elements of the Republican proposal.

“If Russia continues on its current course, we have a range of tools at our disposal, including sanctions that would target certain sectors of the Russian economy,” the president said.

But in a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Obama said he hopes diplomacy will make further sanctions unnecessary.

“Our hope is that we should not have to use them. We are not interested in punishing the Russian people. We do think that Mr. Putin and his leadership circle are taking bad decisions and unnecessary decisions and he needs to be dissuaded from his current course,” Obama said.

The crisis in Ukraine is but one source of friction in the foreign policy arena between the White House and its critics.

Many Republicans, and even some Democratic lawmakers, have urged a more robust U.S. response to the fighting in Syria, and are skeptical about the administration’s effort to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions through diplomacy.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid