Obama moves against Putin, Russia by ‘mobilizing the international community’

President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin share a lukewarm greeting during the Group of 20 summit last year in Mexico. U.S. intelligence community sources say they have been keeping a close eye on the Russian government's attempt to retain power over the former Soviet states, including Ukraine. (Associated Press)President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin share a lukewarm greeting during the Group of 20 summit last year in Mexico. U.S. intelligence community sources say they have been keeping a close eye on the Russian government’s attempt to retain power over the former Soviet states, including Ukraine. (Associated Press)

By Ben Wolfgang and Dave Boyer

The Washington Times

Thursday, March 6, 2014

President Obama on Thursday renewed his call for Russia to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine by allowing independent monitors and moving toward free elections in May.



In a hastily arranged press conference at the White House, Mr. Obama said he had authorized a framework for sanctions in consultation with allies “to impose a cost on Russia” and on individuals responsible for the Russian military’s occupation of Crimea in southern Ukraine

“I am confident that we are moving forward together, united in our determination to oppose actions that violate international law and to support the government and people of Ukraine,” Mr. Obama said.

While he didn’t mention Russian President Vladimir Putin by name, Mr. Obama blasted Moscow’s military intervention as a Soviet-style power move.

“In 2014, we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders,” the president said.

Mr. Obama also criticized a proposed referendum on the future of Crimea,  saying it would violate Ukraine’s sovereignty. Most inhabitants of the region are Russian-speaking.

“The proposed referendum on the future of Crimea would violate the Ukrainian constitution and violate international law,” Mr. Obama said. “Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of Ukraine.”

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