DEFIANT RUSSIA: Leadership disregarding tough talk from Obama
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/5/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Russia has largely turned a deaf ear to the U.S. and its allies over its invasion of Ukraine and the tightening placed on Crimea. While U.S. President Barack Obama has warned Russia of possible sanctions over its military land grab in Ukraine, Moscow has largely ignored international threats.
President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country after sealing a pact with the domestic opposition, along with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland that called for early elections and the weakening of presidential powers
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Obama said the world is "largely united" against Russia's military action. He says he is considering economic and diplomatic steps that would gradually isolate Russia.
Criticizing Russian President Vladimir Putin for being "on the wrong side of history," Obama said "What cannot be done is for Russia with impunity to put its soldiers on the ground and violate basic principles that are recognized around the world. Over time, this will be a costly proposition for Russia."
But the U.S. and European Union are at a loss for solutions. There are fears that the Kremlin might carry out more land grabs in pro-Russian eastern Ukraine, or elsewhere in the former Soviet Union.
Russia appears to be driving the agenda. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Geneva at the beginning of a U.N. Human Rights Council session that Ukraine should return to the February 21 agreement signed by pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych - but not by Moscow - aimed at ending Ukraine's governing crisis.
Yanukovych fled the country after sealing a pact with the domestic opposition, along with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland that called for early elections and the weakening of presidential powers.
"Instead of a promised national unity government," Mr. Lavrov said, "a 'government of the victors' has been created." He justified the Russian intervention in the Crimean peninsula as necessary for the protection of Russian citizens and ethnic Russians within Ukraine's borders.
In the meantime, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, said Mr. Lavrov's assertions were "without basis in reality."
"What is happening today is a dangerous military intervention in Ukraine," Ms. Power said. "It is an act of aggression. It must stop."
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