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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs