News / Europe

Western Powers, Russia Exchange Sharp Words Over Ukraine

Protesters stand on a barricade in central Kiev, Feb. 1, 2014.
Protesters stand on a barricade in central Kiev, Feb. 1, 2014.
Western powers and Russia exchanged sharp words over the future of Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday.
 
Addressing the conference, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said nowhere was the "fight for a democratic, European future" more important than in Ukraine — which spiraled into chaos after President Viktor Yanukovych backed out of a European Union trade deal in favor of closer ties to Russia last November — and that the U.S. and EU stood "with the people of Ukraine in that fight."

Kerry later met with three of Ukraine's opposition leaders, Arseny Yatsenyuk, Petro Poroshenko and former boxing champion-turned-activist Vitaly Klitschko, who called the protesters' goal a modern, European state.
 
"Right now they say 'enough, enough to wait, enough corruption, enough of living without rules,' and they are getting slowly aggressive and we need a reaction from the president of Ukraine," said Klitschko, adding that Yanukovych bears "full responsibility for everything that happens in Ukraine."

Ukrainian businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry shake hands as Klitschko (L) Arseniy Yatsenyuk look on, Feb. 1, 2014.Ukrainian businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry shake hands as Klitschko (L) Arseniy Yatsenyuk look on, Feb. 1, 2014.
x
Ukrainian businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry shake hands as Klitschko (L) Arseniy Yatsenyuk look on, Feb. 1, 2014.
Ukrainian businessman and politician Petro Poroshenko (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry shake hands as Klitschko (L) Arseniy Yatsenyuk look on, Feb. 1, 2014.
Yanukovych has said in recent statements that his opponents are escalating the crisis, unlike his own government, which, he says has fulfilled obligations to end the standoff by replacing the prime minister and granting amnesty to arrested protesters.
 
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov echoed that sentiment while addressing the Munich conference, accusing European politicians of fomenting Ukraine's anti-government protests.
 
"Why don't we condemn those who seize and hold government buildings, attack the police, torch the police, use racist and anti-Semitic and Nazi slogans?" Lavrov said.


On Friday, Yanukovych signed legislation offering amnesty to protesters detained during anti-government demonstrations. But opposition leaders rejected the measure, saying that it only grants amnesty only if other protesters vacate the government buildings they have seized.
 
The standoff leaves outside powers with little direct influence to help end the crisis, says European Council of Foreign Relations analyst Olaf Boehnke.
 
"You have to put pressure on the government in certain ways, but by the end of the day it is pretty much an issue of the Ukrainian people and the demonstrators," Boehnke said in an interview over Skype, adding that the international community should keep up its criticism of human rights abuses by Yanukovych forces.
 
Tensions in Ukraine rose Thursday after opposition activist Dmytro Bulatov, missing since January 22, was found outside Kyiv with severe cuts and bruises to his face, along with other injuries. Bulatov said he was kidnapped by unknown abductors, tortured and held for days before being abandoned in a forest. Bulatov says he made his way to a nearby village, where he reached his friends by phone.
 
The U.N. human rights office has called on President Yanukovych to investigate recent reports of deaths, kidnappings and torture during the nation's political unrest. A spokesman for U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said the commissioner is "appalled" by the reports.
 
Yanukovych issued a statement Thursday accusing opposition leaders of escalating the political crisis and saying the government has fulfilled its obligations to end the standoff.
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he wants to wait for a new government in Ukraine before proceeding with a promised $15 billion loan to Ukraine along with substantial natural gas discounts.
 
Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous from: uk
February 01, 2014 5:48 PM
The Ukraine fought for many years to exit from Russia
why don't Putin and Russian authorities
let Ukraine people decide their own future with free elections for government and president

by: Frunze from: Australia
February 01, 2014 4:42 PM
I wonder why this "free" press publicationdidn't actually quote the Russians? Mentioned facts the "free" press didn't like perhaps?
In Response

by: Kharkivyan from: Australia
February 02, 2014 3:16 AM
This is because Russia has no "free press" and seeks to crush it everywhere... No need to "quote" Russians when they speak volumes by their actions - which fool nobody in the west, and only a small number in Ukraine today. Maybe when Russia creates a free press, and a real democracy, you can seek to lecture us about freedom - until then, Russia remains the enemy of freedom, evidenced by world opinion and the enmity of your nearest neighbours who know you the best. Those Russians in Australia who love Russia so much - are very welcome to return there anytime they wish. Until then, Australians will monitor your anti-democratic activity, until immigration rules are compromised... we know who you are Frunze!!!

by: Anonymous
February 01, 2014 12:32 PM
The ukraine wont see a cent of the 15 billion
In Response

by: Kharkivyan from: Australia
February 02, 2014 3:08 AM
The fifteen Billion was a tawdry bribe - and would only have lasted about 6 months anyway... as always, Russia thinks it can buy loyalty with blood money. Russia is wrong this time. Ukraine will triumph over them and their lackeys in Ukraine. Putin should look over his shoulder constantly... inflation rising, printing money with no value will soon see his dictatorship crumble and fall. Then the Russian people will demand entry into Europe themselves - and Ukrainians will welcome them!

by: John Stefanyszyn from: Canada
February 01, 2014 11:59 AM
Ukrainians Embracing and the USA Advancing the “god of fortresses”...FREEDOM

… and those that will not willingly receive / will not allow the mark, name, number of the beast to be glorified, will not be able to ”buy and sell...will suffer sanctions” in the name of the image (that has global authority) of the beast.

...The White House has confirmed it is discussing possible sanctions against Ukraine with the US Congress.

Mr. Kerry said:
..."The aspirations (ref. to democratic / self-rule freedom) of citizens are once again being trampled beneath corrupt, oligarchic interests..."

...that “Ukraine should (be free to) choose...that their futures do not have to lie with one country alone, and certainly not coerced". He said the "vast majority of Ukrainians want to live freely in a safe and prosperous country - they are fighting for the right to associate with partners who will help them realise their aspirations".

Mr Kerry added: "Nowhere is the fight for a democratic, European future more important today than in Ukraine. The United States and EU stand with the people of Ukraine in that fight."....as President Obama said that this “freedom is not given...but must be taken”.

This FREEDOM is glorified by man because they believe that it is right in their own eyes for their self-interests….to know good and evil for their own self-justified desires.

President Obama has proclaimed that this same FREEDOM is the “Light” of man’s righteousness….that it is the “will” of his ‘god’...the ‘god’ that dictates that it is right to serve and magnify the ‘self’ (XES).

And today, his ‘commanders / locusts’ ( political, national, religious, business leaders) advance and proclaim with authority and power that this FREEDOM is the RIGHT WAY….in the aim of uniting all mankind in "peace".

AND this FREEDOM also dictates that it is RIGHT (a right) for a man to marry a man….that it is RIGHT (a right) to be free (without consequence) to worship ANY ‘god / belief’.

BUT Jesus Christ, Son of the Only Creator God, said that we are to worship the One Lord Creator and Him Alone, His Will Alone to serve.

Soon, The Lord and King Jesus Christ will return to rule the earth in power according to and in obedience to the Will of the Only Creator God and NOT according to man’s first love for “his self-righteous freedom”.

John Stefanyszyn
….a bondman of the One King Jesus Christ, Son of the Only Jehovah Elohim

by: American from: USA
February 01, 2014 11:50 AM
The Ukraine is right next to Russia. What are we doing over there instigating? I can't figure it out. How would we feel if Russia was over here taking the side of revolutionaries against the U.S. in Mexico?

We pushed the Monroe Doctrine at Europe and the old Soviet Union but now we violate the principle in it all over the world with regards to everyone else. It's hypocritical and dangerous.

The U.S. has stumbled with regards to trade, immigration, financial reform, education, cultural/social issues, etc... and the average American and their society faces decline while the U.S. faces stronger competition abroad.

Yet we're running around the world inserting ourselves in everyone else's business telling them what they must do.

How about making America a moral prosperous place to live with a first class education system again instead?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_Doctrine

http://helpfixamericafirst.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2012-08-15T10:00:00-07:00&max-results=5

by: whothefox from: Cheshire, UK
February 01, 2014 11:48 AM
Oh dear, Tony Blair is getting in on the picture. That means there will have to be a war, and thousands will die. He'll make money though. After all that is the only reason he should be there - he is NOT a part of politics any more, he's just a money-making champagne socialist.

by: Dr. Korn from: USA
February 01, 2014 11:16 AM
This picture depicts all New World Order PIGS, and Kerry is a member of BOHEMIAN GROVE.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs