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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs