News / Europe

US Has Few Options in Ukraine Crisis

President Barack Obama pauses during speech at the general session of the Democratic National Committee meeting, Washington, Feb. 28, 2014.
President Barack Obama pauses during speech at the general session of the Democratic National Committee meeting, Washington, Feb. 28, 2014.
Kent Klein
The White House says President Barack Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone for 90 minutes Saturday.

A written statement says the president told Putin sending Russian troops into Ukraine is a clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity and a breach of international law.

Obama called on the Russian leader to withdraw his forces to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine.

The president said Russia's actions would hurt its standing in the international community, echoing a warning he issued on Friday, when the White House threatened costs for Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.

“Indeed the United States will stand with the international community in affirming there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine," Obama said.

Russia's upper house of parliament recommended Saturday that President Putin recall the Russian ambassador from Washington.

Many U.S. experts agree that President Obama's options are limited. They say he is not seriously considering using force, although he is said to have talked with advisers about the idea of moving warships to the region.

Ukraine is not a member of NATO, and the Western alliance is not required to come to its defense.

Economic options appear more likely. One possibility is for the U.S. to impose sanctions on Russia's financial institutions.

Tim Brown, senior fellow at globalsecurity.org, says another is to freeze Russian leaders' offshore bank accounts.

"It's almost certain that Putin has a large, or several large, bank accounts of his own, and I would imagine that those are going to get frozen," Brown said. "So when they say there are going to be costs, it's not going to be to the Russian people. It's more along the lines it's going to be the Russian leadership personally."

Saturday's White House statement said the president told Putin the U.S. would suspend its participation in preparatory meetings for the Group of Eight (G8) summit, which is scheduled for June in Sochi. Obama and his aides are reported to have discussed canceling his trip to the summit altogether, or even kicking Russia out of the G8.

Scrapping a possible trade agreement with Moscow may be another alternative.

U.S. leverage is diminished by the need for Russia's help in negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran and working to end Syria's war. Also, the U.S. uses Russian supply routes to move troops and equipment out of Afghanistan.

So far, the possible costs have not been enough to discourage Putin from sending Russian troops to Ukraine.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Sunny Enwerem from: Lagos Nigeria
March 03, 2014 3:04 AM
Few options in a diplomatic sense means nothing much can and will be done ,another example of the UN inability to handle the 21st century issues with the increase of Russian arrogance, Russia will absorb territories in Ukraine and their is noting the West can do about it.


by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
March 03, 2014 12:15 AM
We are urging the Obama administration and his allies to work in an agreement, to bring this Putin aggression to an end. The people of Ukraine needs to determine their faith. not Mr. Putin. The US and its allies should and must respond to Mr. Putin aggression. who does he thinks he is? Beside that Nuclear weapon, there is not Russia can do to America. And If Russia waste their Nuclear weapon on the US, so help us God, The US will do the same and more. So Mr. Putin needs to calm down. We stand with Mr. Obama in any military action to bring about peace and stability in Ukraine. The world needs to know by this time, Mr. Putin is the number one outstanding figure today in the world who stands against peace. And peace must prevail. There are more good people than bad people, there are lot more good people than bad people, and it time for the good people to win. God Bless America, God Bless President Obama, may God give him wisdom in this present crisis.


by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
March 02, 2014 11:23 PM
This is a standoff. And Putin hostility must be put to an end. we strongly condemn Mr. Putin act towards Ukraine We are calling on the Russian people back home, in the US and around the world to condemn what is wrong and stand for the true. Mr. Putin is playing with fire, He is starting something that he cannot end. War is the most important option on the table, and the US needs to teach Mr. Putin a lesson. The US is the world super power and advanced nation when it comes to technology. The whole entire world is learning from our technology, stealing our blueprint, trying to be like the US. China, Russia Iran etc, all America friends and enemies have learned from the US. In technology, the US is far better off than any country in the world, as we speak. In a modern world, China just gotten her first aircraft carrier.hahaha, Mr. Putin needs to reconsider his decision, or else Russia will face a hard punishment from the US and the world leaders. Mr. Putin tear down that war


by: Jack from: US
March 02, 2014 10:32 PM
New Ukrainian interim president is a Tatar-Mongol appointed by Washington


by: David H from: Las Cruces NM, USA
March 02, 2014 4:46 PM
What if the USA had military base in another country and all the soldiers had their families living off base and a huge support system of non military personnel and military personnel working on that base, with military hardware, ships, planes, the list goes on and there was a take over of country the USA would do the same thing to protect its interests. There is a reason for the other things and not to take over Ukraine. Media needs to back off. It's not right but what can you do?


by: Jack from: US
March 02, 2014 1:25 PM
The Ukraine is $160-200bil in debt, it is bankrupt and about to collapse. Whoever "wins" in the Ukraine, Putin or NATO, would have to pick the tab


by: Sergey from: Russia
March 02, 2014 10:48 AM
US has only one option - to bomb. Your external policy is always the same - bomb, kill people, support extremists... "well done" in Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, Nagasaki, Vietnam... "very good track record" your mamas sure are "proud" for you...

In Response

by: Lasha from: Georgia
March 03, 2014 11:53 AM
Have a look at Russia`s own record: north and south caucasus, afghanistan, whole eastern europe. And several wars and revolutions supported by USSR in Africa, South and central america and southeast asia.


by: Doug from: Canada
March 02, 2014 10:27 AM
As unfortunate as this situation is we must keep out for its in the backyard of Russia and they have had a strategic interest in that region for centuries.Let me give you this
same analogy.If the Canadian governemnt was overthrown in
a coup by hostile forces the United States would do whatever was necessary including military intervention to protect her own strategic interests and also to protect Americans living here for we are their backyard.

In Response

by: Sergey from: Ruusia
March 03, 2014 12:34 AM
to Doug: I completely agree with you, the same analogy works for the Ukrainian's case - we have more that 150 000 refugees from Uktaine over last 1-2 weeks. People have been persequted by the ukrainian nazis because they speak russian language and do not support the new illegime government. They really suffer! This sitution was mostly provocated by the EU sopporting opposition which is represented not only by "democrats" (worth to say, with very questionable reputation) but by radicals as well...we here in Russia are very worried of the situation developing this way and wouldn't like any kind of militar conflict, allmost all of us share the same values with you... but we support our President and the Russian government in their decision to defend our people in the case of any extreme situation as the west is not able to react timely and adequately, considering all the factors and all the parts of the Ukranian's population...


by: Lu from: PRC
March 02, 2014 9:32 AM
No one except Pudin dictator who dominates a country so long and he neglects peoples lifes so easy. Maybe for backhands or other dirty bargains with asian countries, he is really need be eliminated from policy.


by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
March 02, 2014 8:17 AM
Another sever finger wagging from Obama added to toothless threats. How has that worked with Syria?

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid