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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid