News / Europe

US Lawmakers say Obama Will Push for More Russia Sanctions

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (r) shakes hands with U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte in Kyiv, March 23, 2014.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (r) shakes hands with U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte in Kyiv, March 23, 2014.
U.S. lawmakers visiting Kyiv have urged President Barack Obama to use bilateral meetings at a nuclear security summit at The Hague to push for a stronger NATO presence in countries neighboring Ukraine and for greater economic sanctions on Russia.  

During a visit to Kyiv, three U.S. lawmakers led by Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte said President Obama would use bilateral meetings this week at The Hague to secure agreement from European allies to ratchet up the Western response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

The lawmakers praised President Obama for the financial sanctions and travel bans imposed last week on President Putin’s inner circle, including on a Russian bank used by the Moscow elite. But they urged that specific additional steps be taken to deter the Kremlin from further incursions into Ukraine.

“We can take further actions and I certainly would recommend that we take further actions of economic sanctions against the Russians including economic sanctions on their entire financial sector that will have a negative impact on the economy of Russia and that is not to harm the Russian people, but that is to send a message to Vladimir Putin," said Ayotte.

Ayotte and her colleagues, Democrat Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Democrat Congressman Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, expressed alarm at the build-up of Russian military forces across the border from eastern Ukraine. The U.S. lawmakers said time is of the essence to ensure Putin understands there will be a price to pay for any further incursions into Ukraine.

Obama is in Europe for a long-planned nuclear security summit in The Hague, but the meeting is fast becoming focused on the Ukraine crisis and the standoff between the West and Russia. Fifty-two world leaders are attending, but not Putin.  

Ayotte acknowledged there will be resistance from some Western European leaders to imposing broad financial sanctions on Russia, singling out Britain.

“If you look at the history of sanctions in other contexts, it is often that the United States goes first and works with our partners to implement even a stronger sanction regime along with our partners to ensure we send the right message. Is it worth a little bit of economic pain for freedom? It is," she said.

According to Donnelly, the United States is likely to again consider a tactical missile defense shield in Central Europe and examine how Europe can become less dependent on Russian gas supplies.

“We will provide military help. I expect there will be more forces coming into the area.  I expect that we will revisit the missile shield question as well. I expect the question of energy will be very much on the table," said Donnelly.

The lawmakers say Ukraine needs military aid urgently, including small arms and communications equipment, as well as technical assistance, to make up for the years of neglect of the Ukraine armed forces.

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