News / USA

    Washington React: Obama Aims to Work With Putin to Calm Ukraine

    Luis Ramirez
    The United States says it respects Russia's interests in Ukraine, but that it expects Moscow to pull its troops back to their bases and stop violating Ukraine's sovereignty. 

    But Russia is showing no signs of backing down as troops continue to take up positions in Crimea and a Russian-sponsored referendum that could result in the region becoming part of the Russian Federation draws near.

    White House Spokesman Jay Carney speaks to reporters on March 11, 2014.White House Spokesman Jay Carney speaks to reporters on March 11, 2014.
    x
    White House Spokesman Jay Carney speaks to reporters on March 11, 2014.
    White House Spokesman Jay Carney speaks to reporters on March 11, 2014.
    The Obama administration is trying to give Russia a way out of the crisis.  White House spokesman Jay Carney on Tuesday said the U.S. goal is to see a de-escalation of the situation.

    “We are working to see if the Russians are willing to resolve this matter diplomatically," he said.

    Secretary of State John Kerry spoke on the telephone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for 45 minutes on Tuesday, but reported no progress.

    Carney indicated the United States is not opposed to a continued Russian role in Crimea, as long as Russian troops return to their bases.

    “What we're talking about when we say that we absolutely recognize that Russia has interests in Ukraine and they include in Crimea, we're referring specifically to the Black Sea fleet base - for example - which is in Crimea, a Russian naval base as part of an agreement with the sovereign nation of Ukraine and that we completely respect," Carney said.

    One of the reasons Russia has given for intervening in Crimea is its concern for what it says is the rights of the ethnic Russian minority living there.  The Obama administration has called on the Ukrainian government to honor the rights of ethnic Russians, but has also said it does not believe Russian reports that members of that minority have been abused.

    In the meantime, U.S. officials say they are assessing whether to begin implementing the visa restrictions and financial sanctions that President Obama announced last week if Russia continues its moves to consolidate control over Crimea.

    Analyst Michael O'Hanlon with the Brookings Institution in Washington says the Obama administration will have no choice but to step up penalties if Russia makes no concessions.

    “If things stay as they are, I think we need to apply some sanctions that are hurtful to the Russian elite," O'Hanlon said. "I’m not suggesting broad-based sanctions based on this referendum and potential annexation of Crimea.  I’m not suggesting we try to go after their energy sector or all their banks.  But I think that Putin and his cronies need to have some targeted sanctions on their visas, their travel and their bank accounts and be put in place and stay in place.”

    The United States also wants Russia to begin a dialogue with the Ukrainian government, which Moscow does not recognize.  

    Obama is preparing to host Ukraine's interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, on Wednesday.  The invitation is a message to Russia that the new Ukrainian government has Washington's support.

    You May Like

    Russian-Backed Offensive in Syria Pushes War to Tipping Point

    As threat to Aleppo and rebel forces grows, US plan to negotiate becomes less and less appealing for Syrian government, says one military analyst

    IS Runs Timber Smuggling Business in Afghanistan, Officials Say

    Government turning blind eye to smuggling, according to tribal leaders; Afghanistan's forest cover dropped by 50 percent in three decades, experts say

    Video White House Seeks $1.8 Billion to Combat Zika

    Obama administration says funding would 'support essential strategies to combat the virus' such as rapidly expanding mosquito control programs, accelerating vaccine research

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Simon from: Australia
    March 12, 2014 9:24 AM
    This will be quite fitting for a coup leader and Obama to have a pow-wow. Two people who talk of democracy but undermine the principles thereof.This visit is just more Obama swag...more smoke and mirrors from a president that would love the "Hollywood" sign placed above the statue of Liberty, "Hollywood best represents American values," he says. He has just done an interview to attract the youth vote. Must be getting ready for hand outs rather than a hand up.

    Well he is alwsys right in his own mind as he gives us a great mix of fiction mixed with non-fiction storylines.. Meanwhile back in the real world....the real what they call... "Water Shed in Modern History" is Libya with America, France and Britain...and Johnny-come-lately Germany exercising their mission creep and murder. That opened the floodgates of a new arms race...Nations now know if they do not have nuclear weapons their sovereignty at any moment could be kicked to the wayside. The Ukraine is as successful for the West in sending other troubling messages like..."If you don't like your government have a coup." Much worse that "If you like your health plan you can keep it."

    Following the example in the Ukraine protestors in Libya took you up on your version of international law and started shooting MP's and storming Congress. Clearly....undeniably... after "Libya"... NATO...the E.U and the U.N has very little credibility.As I said before those 67% of Americans who as it stands, would like to throw their lawmakers to the street if they could, may wish to consider the option when their gas bills become unaffordable as vast amounts of gas are exported to Europe to play cold war games. What did Obama say to Romney..."Hhhh...the cold war ended 20 years ago." Well he is in a hurry to bring it back after the Libyan mission creep and the supporting of a coup with the E.U. Just look at the current state of Libya. I'm sure Putin will do a better job with Crimea but I think the E.U and America are determined for the Ukraine to become another Libya. If they cannot have it all they will wreck it all. That's their legacy folks just look at the middle-east.

    by: Simonzee1 from: Australia
    March 12, 2014 9:22 AM
    All Obama and the EU has done is lost Crimea while the rest of the East descends into civil war. Look at Libya now... and that is the template. We will see pipelines attacked by the far-right or other terrorists to disrupt gas supplies to Europe; and America will use all the chaos to start exporting gas to Europe but with the price that Americans and their industry will pay more for gas. More jobs for Europe with cheap gas. Less jobs for America with expensive gas. That's how Obama rolls!

    by: PermReader
    March 12, 2014 8:25 AM
    Usual Obama`s blah blah.Await for the republican senate and kongress.

    by: eric from: Poland
    March 12, 2014 6:02 AM
    Russia will destroy itself,if Ukraine will live in EU. Putin must break a war if he wants to be president forever. For Russians it means poverty, richer typhoons,poor medicine,salary and so on. The World doesn't believe Russia anymore!! Russia is on verge of revolution.

    by: Alexandr Albov from: Belarus
    March 12, 2014 2:42 AM
    "The Obama administration is trying to give Russia a way out of the crisis.."
    The deal is that Russia not in crisis. In crisis is policy of some western countryes toward Ukraine as a many others countryes.
    As said China: "Russia is not problem - Russia that solution".

    by: Smith from: Finland
    March 12, 2014 2:40 AM
    It seems like Putin iis going to expand its borders far west... Finland, Baltic can be next in queue. Of course,serious sanctions must imposed on Russia!!!!!!!

    by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
    March 12, 2014 2:14 AM
    The reason Russia is showing no signs of backing down, because the Obama administration has shown a sign of weakness. We do understand that Mr. Obama policy is diplomacy, But at the same token, We have to show our supremacy to the world. Mr. Obama is looking at Russia taking key position in Crimea and he is doing nothing about Russia occupation. and If Russia holds the high point in Crimea, for the US and its allied to move in , they will have difficulties. With Mr. Putin in power, the situation cannot de escalate. Cuz Mr. Putin primary goal is to take over Ukraine, Crimea and some of his neighboring Countries. The ethnic Russian minority were never harm in Crimea. That is a lied from the Putin administration. If that was the case, the whole world would have known. We are calling on the Obama administration to act. Russian aggression must stop. The ICC and IC need to take Mr. Putin to court on this matter. We cannot condone such a violent act in the 21ist century. And enough is enough.

    by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
    March 12, 2014 1:33 AM
    It’s a great news that Obama Aims to Work with Putin on Ukrainian knot provided the latter will engage in talks with the interim government. But the thing is that Putin will never recognize Kyiv’s model for democratic changes and how to get rid of corrupt regime and cronyism in one go. Authoritarian regimes have left their people no other options for a democratic progress than to rely on their nationalists and far-right forces in an effort to get rid of dictators. To recognize the interim government, for Putin will be the same as to sign his own overthrow and he won’t endorse this. Analyst Michael O'Hanlon with the Brookings Institution in Washington is right when he expressed wider and wider recognized truth that Putin and his cronies, their children, wives and girlfriends need to have some targeted sanctions on their assets, their visas, their travel and their bank accounts.

    by: eross from: Italy
    March 12, 2014 12:44 AM
    Russia is starting WW3. It is obvious... Weak Putin wants to seem strong. He doesn't have support of his people and tries to break out a war and stay in power until its end. It is going to be slow war...

    by: Igor from: Russia
    March 11, 2014 11:44 PM
    Arseniy Yatsenyuk and his illegal government is nothing more than the puppet of the West, which has never been elected by Ukrainians and cannot represents the whole Ukraine. How can Russia, a superpower, recognize and begin a dialogue with the puppet of the West. It is beneath our dignity.
    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenyai
    X
    February 08, 2016 4:30 PM
    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Sanders, Clinton Battle for Young Democratic Vote

    Despite a narrow loss to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in last week's Iowa Democratic caucuses, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders secured more than 80 percent of the vote among those between the ages of 18 and 29. VOA correspondent Aru Pande talks to Democrats in New Hampshire about who they are leaning towards and why in this week's primary.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.