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Putin ignores tough US, EU sanctions

Published: Tue, March 18, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

KIEV, Ukraine

Ignoring the toughest sanctions against Moscow since the end of the Cold War, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula as an “independent and sovereign country” Monday, a bold challenge to Washington that escalates one of Europe’s worst security crises in years.

The brief decree posted on the Kremlin’s website came just hours after the United States and the European Union announced asset freezes and other sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian officials involved in the Crimean crisis. President Barack Obama warned that more would come if Russia didn’t stop interfering in Ukraine, and Putin’s move clearly forces his hand.

The West has struggled to find leverage to force Moscow to back off in the Ukraine turmoil, of which Crimea is only a part, and analysts saw Monday’s sanctions as mostly ineffectual.

Moscow showed no signs of flinching in the dispute that has roiled Ukraine since Russian troops took effective control of the strategic Black Sea peninsula last month and supported the Sunday referendum that overwhelmingly called for annexation by Russia. Recognizing Crimea as independent would be an interim step in absorbing the region.

Crimea had been part of Russia since the 18th century, until Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine in 1954, and both Russians and Crimea’s majority ethnic Russian population see annexation as correcting a historical insult.

Ukraine’s turmoil — which began in November with a wave of protests against President Viktor Yanukovych and accelerated after he fled to Russia in late February — has become Europe’s most-severe security crisis in years.

Russia, like Yanukovych himself, characterizes his ouster as a coup, and alleges the new authorities are fascist-minded and likely to crack down on Ukraine’s ethnic Russian population. Pro-Russia demonstrations have broken out in several cities in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, where the Kremlin has been massing troops.

Fearing that Russia is prepared to risk violence to make a land-grab, the West has consistently spoken out against Russia’s actions but has run into a wall of resistance from Moscow.

Reacting to Monday’s sanctions, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov declared that they were “a reflection of a pathological unwillingness to acknowledge reality and a desire to impose on everyone one-sided and unbalanced approaches that absolutely ignore reality.”


1georgejeanie(1487 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Tough sanctions this mealy mouthed President sholud have approved the XL pipeline. Atleast that would have helped the unemployment rate and sent a message to Putin we are unhappy about the Crimea situation. Would also help the EU to know the US would help them out with energy in the future. I would imagine the Russians most likely pulled most of their rubles out of the US banks before the Obamanators weak attempt to have Putin pull back from Crimea. What a weakling leading the greatest country on earth.

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2Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Let me see if I have this right, Russia invades another country and America's (Obama's) response is to impose travel restrictions on eleven people and freeze their assets in the US (after giving them one week warning to transfer money out of America). And you call these actions by the US tough.
Your kidding right, telling them that they can no longer shop at sax fifth ave is not tough, it is in fact as weak as can be short of doing nothing.
Obama is a joke and so are the yourapeeings (Europeans). If America had a real leader he would have told the yourapeeings to turn down their thermostat, put on a sweater, and close all gas valves on all gas lines coming from Russia, thereby reducing Russian(naa Soviet) federal income by half.
But alas we don't have a Jackson, Truman, or Reagan in office. We have a community organizer instead, God help us.

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376Ytown(1339 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

China is siding with Russia and we owe about 25% of our nearly $18 trillion national debt to China and Russia in short term loans. All they need to do is dump our debt for higher interest rate. So much for leverage. More like being held hostage.

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