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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

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

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
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 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 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 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.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid