News / Europe

Obama to Host Ukraine's Interim PM

FILE - Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk speaks during a press conference in Brussels on March 6, 2014.FILE - Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk speaks during a press conference in Brussels on March 6, 2014.
x
FILE - Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk speaks during a press conference in Brussels on March 6, 2014.
FILE - Ukraine's interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk speaks during a press conference in Brussels on March 6, 2014.
VOA News
U.S. President Barack Obama hosts Ukraine's interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, at the White House Wednesday.
 
The White House says the president will stress his strong support for the Ukrainian people and talk about economic aid.  The United States has already pledged $1 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Yatsenyuk's visit comes just a day after the U.S. House of Representatives voted 403 to six to condemn Russia for violating Ukraine's sovereignty in Crimea. The resolution also calls for international monitors to go to the region.
 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held another telephone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Tuesday on the ongoing situation in Ukraine.
 
A State Department spokeswoman said Kerry told Lavrov that it is "unacceptable" for Russian forces and "irregulars" to keep taking matters into their own hands in Ukraine.  Kerry said the U.S. respects the fact that Russia has interests in Crimea, but added that it does not justify military intervention in the region, particularly the use of force.
 
The White House says there are no credible reports that the rights of ethnic Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine are being violated.

Giving money to 'bandits'

Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich during a news conference in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, March 11, 2014.Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich during a news conference in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, March 11, 2014.
x
Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich during a news conference in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, March 11, 2014.
Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich during a news conference in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, March 11, 2014.
​Also Tuesday, ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych emerged again in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don to blame the interim government for Crimea's moves to break away from Ukraine. Yanukovych said he is still president and commander-in-chief. He called the interim leaders in Kyiv "extremists" and denounced presidential elections, set for May 25, as illegal.

Yanukovych also criticized the United States for promising monetary aid to Ukraine's new government, and said he would appeal to the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court to assess the legality of giving such aid, insisting U.S. laws prohibit giving money to "bandits."

Confusing referendum ballot

Meanwhile, Crimea, whose regional legislature adopted a "declaration of independence" Tuesday, is moving ahead with plans to hold a referendum on the peninsula's unification with Russia. However, Ukraine's parliament warned Tuesday that the Crimean Assembly faces dissolution unless the March 16 vote is called off by Wednesday.

A poster calling for people to vote in the upcoming referendum is seen in Simferopol March 11, 2014.A poster calling for people to vote in the upcoming referendum is seen in Simferopol March 11, 2014.
x
A poster calling for people to vote in the upcoming referendum is seen in Simferopol March 11, 2014.
A poster calling for people to vote in the upcoming referendum is seen in Simferopol March 11, 2014.
A sample of the ballot published on the assembly's website appears to offer no option for staying with Ukraine for those voters who might be opposed to joining Moscow. Both options appear to result in Crimea passing under Russian control.
Crimea closed its airspace to commercial flights but allowed several planes from Moscow to land, Reuters reported, five days ahead of the referendum that the government in Kyiv and its Western backers say is illegal.

In Crimea, Voting Under the Guni
X
Elizabeth Arrott
March 11, 2014 7:04 PM
Crimea's regional government is going ahead with plans to hold a referendum on breaking away from Ukraine and joining Russia. But with Russian troops and pro-Russian self-defense forces in control of the peninsula, those in favor of Crimea remaining in Ukraine say it couldn't possibly be fair. VOA’s Elizabeth Arrott has more from Crimea's regional capital, Simferopol.
In Crimea, Voting under the Gun
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told France Inter radio Tuesday the West could impose sanctions against Russia as early as this week if Moscow does not work for calm in Crimea.

And, after repeatedly being denied entry to Crimea, an unarmed OSCE military observer mission is scheduled to visit other parts of Ukraine, including Kyiv, soon.

Some information provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Igor from: Russia
March 11, 2014 11:35 PM
Arseniy Yatsenyuk is too stupid to be Ukraine president In a country where one half of the population is pro-russian and the other half is pro-western. The president is the one who represents the interests of the whole population. Arseniy Yatsenyuk is a pro-western extremist who never wins trust of all Ukrainians.

by: Michael from: Sydney
March 11, 2014 6:45 PM
Obama to host Yatseynuk in the White House ! Really! This will surely underline his foreign policy failures for all to see. The Obama administration seriously lacks negotiation skills.

by: meanbill from: USA
March 11, 2014 5:02 PM
TRUTH BE TOLD..... The US and EU put-up unrealistic obstacles for a diplomatic resolution between the US and EU and Russia..
The US and EU insist that Russia must recognize and negotiate with the violent (neo-Nazi, Right-Sector, and ultra-right-wing Ukraine extremist terrorists), who ousted the Democratic elected President, and Parliament, and seized the Democratic government of Ukraine by force..
YOU DON'T NEGOTICATE WITH TERRORISTS .. (everybody knows) .. and Putin and Russia won't negotiate with these (Ukraine terrorists that seized the Ukraine government), who the US and EU support, no matter what the US and EU say..
WHY? ... Can't the US and EU accept the truth, and get on with some serious negotiating with the Russians, instead of spreading lies in the western news media? ........ REALLY?

by: Dr. Hans from: Germany
March 11, 2014 3:49 PM
unfortunately, as expected, the US "policy" is led by incompetents in search of definition. Really, the US can not do anything... it can only issue vacuous statements that mean nothing, and call Putin some childishly disgusting names... which he shrugs off. The sense in the EU is that the US has lost all sense of direction, it is confused, disoriented and inconsistent.
Obama betrayal of Egypt is stunning... his irresolution on Iran is appalling - we all saw his "policy" in Syria... his betrayal of Israel (which is a virtual US genetic clone) is being talked about in Japan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs