News / USA

US Reassures Allies as Tensions Mount on Russian Borders

US Reassures Allies as Tensions Mount on Russian Bordersi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Henry Ridgwell
March 18, 2014 8:40 PM
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Poland Tuesday for talks aimed at reassuring eastern European allies that they have the support of the United States. It comes as Moscow signed a treaty Tuesday to formally make the Ukrainian region of Crimea part of the Russian Federation. Tensions and a growing military build-up are unnerving the region, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Henry Ridgwell
Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) looks on as the Speaker of Crimean legislature Vladimir Konstantinov (2nd L), Crimean Premier Sergei Aksyonov (L), and Sevastopol mayor Alexei Chalyi, (R), sign a treaty for Crimea to join Russia, Moscow, March 18, 2014.Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) looks on as the Speaker of Crimean legislature Vladimir Konstantinov (2nd L), Crimean Premier Sergei Aksyonov (L), and Sevastopol mayor Alexei Chalyi, (R), sign a treaty for Crimea to join Russia, Moscow, March 18, 2014.
x
Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) looks on as the Speaker of Crimean legislature Vladimir Konstantinov (2nd L), Crimean Premier Sergei Aksyonov (L), and Sevastopol mayor Alexei Chalyi, (R), sign a treaty for Crimea to join Russia, Moscow, March 18, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd R) looks on as the Speaker of Crimean legislature Vladimir Konstantinov (2nd L), Crimean Premier Sergei Aksyonov (L), and Sevastopol mayor Alexei Chalyi, (R), sign a treaty for Crimea to join Russia, Moscow, March 18, 2014.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden held talks in Poland on Tuesday aimed at reassuring eastern European allies that they have the support of the United States. His visit took place as Moscow signed a treaty to make the Ukrainian region of Crimea part of the Russian Federation. The tensions and military build-up are unnerving the region.
 
Standing alongside Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Biden condemned Moscow’s move to make Crimea part of Russia.

“Russia has offered a variety of arguments to justify what is nothing more than a land grab,” he said

Biden landed in Warsaw Tuesday for a visit designed to reaffirm the United States’ protection for its allies in eastern Europe - while also discussing ways to reduce their dependence on Russian energy.

He also is to meet leaders from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - which used to be part of the Soviet Union.

These nations look primarily to the United States - not Europe - as their security guarantor, says Nicholas Redman, senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“It’s actually the power that really lies behind NATO, the United States, that’s the one that they are looking to principally and that they need the reassurance from,” he said.

Close to the Arctic Circle, NATO troops are currently training in northern Norway - part of Exercise Cold Response 2014, planned before the Ukraine crisis erupted. The Russian border is just 450 kilometers away. Norwegian General Major Morten Haga Lunde directs the exercise.

“This is one of the biggest live exercises in Europe this year. 16,000 troops, 15 nations,” said Lunde.

Next to the Ukrainian border, Russian troops have been conducting their own exercises. Events in Crimea have unnerved the entire region, Redman says.

“Even a lot of Russia’s closest allies will be very uneasy about this," said Rodman. "The former Soviet Union, the borders around those countries are historically without precedent. There are a lot of nations that are trapped on the wrong side of lines. There are a lot of contested borders there.”

In response to Russia’s actions, the European Union Monday enacted sanctions against 21 Russian citizens - alongside a United States’ list targeting 11 individuals. British Foreign Secretary William Hague says the measures are indicative of European unity on the issue.

“These are individuals not just in Crimea but in Russia as well, including in the armed forces and in the parliament, people that are associated with the decisions that Russia has made about Crimea,” he said.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry says the sanctions will "lead nowhere." But Europe does have the power to hurt Russia, says analyst Nicholas Redman.

“At the moment, I think there’s a tension clearly between signaling intent and signaling seriousness, but also leaving enough in reserve on the understanding that things could get worse,” said Rodman.

Regional analysts say that possibility is reigniting tensions between Moscow and the West that have lain dormant for two decades; tensions many had hoped were part of history.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Robert Kiensler
March 19, 2014 9:55 AM
On one hand the U.S. army was to be made smaller. On the other hand the military industrial global multinational complex.


by: Bearman from: U.S.A.
March 19, 2014 7:55 AM
I sure hope that another line in the sand and a vigorous finger shaking will comfort our allies. Somewhat doubtful though.


by: Akosile Folami from: Lagos, Nigeria
March 19, 2014 6:38 AM
The US doesn't need to send official to allies for security reassurance if it can not take tough actions against Russia both economic and military. The only language Putin understands is force.


by: John from: Arizona
March 18, 2014 5:20 PM
Just drop a bomb on Moscow. Let's burn this candle!


by: Tim Morrison from: USA
March 18, 2014 5:11 PM
Yep, "reassure"allies that we will have their backs with a new Committee Organization. That's the best BHO can do.


by: nigel cairns from: san diego
March 18, 2014 5:07 PM
so our politicians are screwing up -again!
When will we learn to put them (and their families!) in harm's way so that they might do less saber-rattling?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid