By Ben Wolfgang and Dave Boyer
The Washington Times
Thursday, March 6, 2014
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.”