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Tag: Barack Obama

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Obama conveyed skepticism
2014.04.19 00:31:41

President Barack Obama conveyed skepticism Thursday about Russian promises to de-escalate a volatile situation in Ukraine, and said the United State and its allies are ready to impose fresh sanctions if Moscow doesn't make good on its commitments.

"My hope is we do see follow-through," Obama said at an impromptu news conference at the White House a few hours after Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up a meeting in Geneva with diplomats from Russia, Ukraine and the European Union. [Associated Press]



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Obama uncertain on Ukraine deal
2014.04.19 00:17:05

The United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine have reached an agreement on immediate steps to be implemented to ease the crisis in Ukraine, but US President Barack Obama cautioned it was uncertain if Moscow would stand by the deal.

"The question now becomes, will in fact they use the influence that they've exerted in a disruptive way to restore some order so that Ukrainians can carry out an election, move forward with the decentralization reforms that they've proposed, stabilize their economy and start getting back on the path of growth and democracy and that their sovereignty will be respected?"

Click here to continue reading this story



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Putin urges Obama to prevent bloodshed in Ukraine
2014.04.16 00:39:27

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged his US counterpart Barack Obama in a phone conversation to use the American side’s capabilities in full to prevent the use of force and a bloodshed in Ukraine, the Kremlin said Monday.

“The Russian side stressed that protest rallies in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, Slavyansk and other cities of the Ukrainian Southeast are a result of the Kiev leadership’s unwillingness and inability to take into account the interests of the Russian and Russian speaking population,” the Kremlin said.

ITAR-TASS



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Obama briefs top political leaders on Russia showdown
2014.04.05 01:44:12

US President Barack Obama Thursday sought to solidify top congressional leaders behind his strategy to isolate Russia and support Ukraine after Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

A White House official said Obama briefed House Speaker John Boehner and the chamber's top Democrat Nancy Pelosi, as well as Senate leader Harry Reid and Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell on his consultations with top world leaders in Europe last week amid the worst East-West crisis since the end of the Cold War.

Obama highlighted the "coordinated international effort to support Ukraine and isolate Russia for its violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," a White House official said.

The comparatively rare talks between the president and leaders from both parties in the House of Representatives and the Senate on a foreign policy issue took place after the president signed a bill providing Kiev with $1 billion in loan guarantees.

[AFP]



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Obama to meet with top US lawmakers on Ukraine crisis
2014.04.04 01:24:42

The White House says President Barack Obama will meet with top lawmakers on Thursday about the situation in Ukraine.

Obama plans to host House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday evening in the Oval Office.

Congress has sent Obama a bill providing $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine.

Some in Congress are pushing Obama to take further steps, including increasing natural gas exports to Europe.

[Associated Press]



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Russia's troop buildup
2014.03.29 01:24:54

President Barack Obama on Friday said Russia's troop buildup on the Ukraine border was out of the ordinary and called on Moscow to pull its military back and begin talks to defuse tensions.

"You've seen a range of troops massing along that border under the guise of military exercises," he said on CBS "This Morning" in Vatican City. "But these are not what Russia would normally be doing."

Obama said the moves might be no more than an effort to intimidate Ukraine, but could be a precursor to other actions.

"It may be that they've got additional plans," he said in excerpts from an interview with CBS "Evening News" to be broadcast in full on Friday night.

Obama made his comments at the end of a visit to Europe, where the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, and Canada warned Russia it faced additional damaging sanctions if it takes further action to destabilize Ukraine.

Governments in Washington and Europe are in discussions about possible measures against Russia's energy sector but have signaled they would hold off on more sanctions unless Moscow goes beyond the seizure of Crimea.

Obama in his interview with CBS lamented that Putin seemed stuck in a Cold War mentality.

"You would have thought that after a couple of decades that there'd be an awareness on the part of any Russian leader that the path forward is not to revert back to the kinds of practices that you know, were so prevalent during the Cold War," he said.

[Reuters]



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Obama urged the West to remain united
2014.03.27 02:50:48

US President Barack Obama urged the West to remain united in its response to Moscow's takeover of Crimea, saying on Wednesday that "with time" Russians will realize that "brute force" cannot win.

"With time, so long as we remain united, the Russian people will recognize that they cannot achieve security, prosperity and the status they seek through brute force. And that's why throughout this crisis we will combine our substantial pressure on Russia with an open door for diplomacy," Obama said in a key speech in Belgium.



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Obama on trip to Brussels
2014.03.27 02:48:30

President Barack Obama on trip to Brussels says the US and the EU are ready to impose more sanctions on Russia for seizing and annexing Ukraine.



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Obama in Brussels for EU-US summit
2014.03.27 02:29:38

President Barack Obama pays his first visit ever to European Union headquarters, cementing US-EU opposition to the takeover of Crimea after hitting out at Russian expansionism as a "sign of weakness".

Viewed as the most important trip to Europe by a US president in years because of the crisis over Crimea, the visit will see Obama hold his first-ever summit talks in Brussels with the EU's top officials, a move seen as an ice-breaker.

"It was time for a summit in Brussels, not in Washington, not anywhere else, but in Brussels," said a senior EU diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity. [AFP]



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Obama hit out at Moscow's expansionism
2014.03.27 02:28:40

US President Barack Obama has hit out at Moscow's expansionism as a "sign of weakness" after Russia took control of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, fueling fears of further intervention.

Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength but out of weakness. -Barack Obama.

Obama said that while the United States also has influence over its neighbors, "we generally don't need to invade them in order to have a strong cooperative relationship with them."

[AFP]



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US President Barack Obama
2014.03.26 02:22:43

US President Barack Obama says Crimea being part of Russia is not a "done deal in that it is not recognized by international community.

"It is not a done deal in the sense that international community by and large is not recognizing the annexation of Crimea. Obviously the facts are on the ground that Russian military controls Crimea, there are a number of individuals inside of Crimea that are supportive of that process."

He also says Russia is bothering its neighbors out of weakness and added that Washington was concerned about the possibility of further Russian encroachment into Ukraine.

"It is up to Russia to act responsibly and show itself once again to be willing to abide by international norms and ... if it fails to do so, there will be some costs," he said at the end of a nuclear security summit in The Hague.

He said additional sanctions would hurt Russia, but also the economies of other countries.

Obama also said: "When I hear analogies for example to Kosovo where you had thousands of people have been slaughtered by their government, it is a comparison that makes absolutely no sense."



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Europe not East-West battleground
2014.03.24 23:16:16

President Barack Obama has told Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant that despite Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula away from Ukraine he does not view Europe as a battleground between the East and the West.

[AP]



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Russia has the most to lose
2014.03.24 03:37:15

Russia has the most to lose from the conflict over Crimea, the Dutch prime minister said on the eve of high-level meetings in the Netherlands to be attended by US President Barack Obama.

Mark Rutte told Reuters in an interview on Sunday:

Russia has an economy that is highly focused on oil and gas. It is not diversified. The growth rate has come down considerably in the last few years. If it came to putting in place sanctions, that would hurt Russia considerably.

A meeting of the G7 group of industrialized nations was hastily bolted on to a long-planned Nuclear Security Summit last week to give leaders a chance to discuss a response to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The Netherlands is not a member of the G7, but has agreed to host Monday's talks, where Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for bilateral talks in The Hague. [Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Crimea | Netherlands | Barack Obama | United States

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Obama urges Lebanon to hold elections
2014.03.23 03:28:04

US President Barack Obama has urged Lebanon to hold elections as planned in May, despite tensions aggravated by the conflict in neighboring Syria, the American embassy in Beirut said on Saturday.

President Michel Sleiman's mandate ends on May 25 and there are worries a successor will be hard to find because of disagreements between Lebanon's pro- and anti-Syria regime blocs.

In a telephone call to Prime Minister Tammam Salam, Obama "urged that the upcoming presidential elections be held on time and in keeping with the Lebanese constitution", a statement from the US embassy said.

It said Obama recognized "the difficulties facing Lebanon due to the conflict in Syria," and "emphasized the importance of all parties observing Lebanon's policy of disassociation".

Obama also thanked Salam for hosting Syrian refugees, nearly one million of whom have fled to Lebanon.

Parliament approved Salam's government on Thursday after protracted negotiations with the military over the role of powerful Shia armed group Hezbollah.

Dominated by Damascus for 30 years until 2005, Lebanon is deeply divided over the conflict in Syria.

Hezbollah and its allies back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Lebanon's Sunni-led opposition supports the uprising against his rule.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Lebanon | Barack Obama | United States | Hezbollah

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Obama ruled out military involvement in Ukraine
2014.03.20 11:34:12

US President Barack Obama has ruled out military involvement in Ukraine on Wednesday, emphasizing diplomacy in the US standoff with Russia over Crimea.

"We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine," Obama told KNSD, San Diego's NBC affiliate, in an interview.

"There is a better path, but I think even the Ukrainians would acknowledge that for us to engage Russia militarily would not be appropriate and would not be good for Ukraine either," Obama said.

Obama, who imposed sanctions on 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials on Monday, said the United States will push diplomatic efforts to bring pressure on Russia to loosen its grip on the Crimea region of southern Ukraine.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Crimea | United States | Barack Obama

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Duma in Obama challenge
2014.03.19 05:30:12

Russian lawmakers have responded caustically to Western sanctions against officials involved in moves to annex Crimea, urging the United States and European Union to impose the same penalties on hundreds more members of parliament.

"We propose to Mr Obama and the ... Eurobureaucrats to include all State Duma deputies who voted in favor of this resolution on the list of Russian citizens affected by US and EU sanctions."

Declaration adopted unanimously by the State Duma lower house

Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Crimea | United States | Barack Obama

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Who is under sanctions?
2014.03.19 05:25:32

Obama has placed sanctions on seven Russian officials, including deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, and four Ukrainians accused of usurping Ukraine's territorial integrity, including ousted president Viktor Yanukovych.

As well as Rogozin, who ridiculed Obama over the move, the list includes Vladislav Surkov and Sergei Glazyev, key aides to Putin.

The officials targeted in Crimea include Sergei Aksyonov, who has named himself the interim prime minister of the territory, and Vladimir Konstantinov, the speaker of the Crimean parliament.



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Statement by Obama on Ukraine
2014.03.19 02:32:30

...as authorized by the executive order I signed two weeks ago, we are imposing sanctions on specific individuals responsible for undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity and government of Ukraine.

To read the full press statement click here.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Crimea | United States | Barack Obama

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Obama's statement
2014.03.18 04:05:58

US President Barack Obama delivered a statement today where he addressed sanctions imposed on Russia over Crimea "on specific individuals responsible for undermining the sovereignty, territorial integrity and government of Ukraine".

Obama also authorized "sanctions on Russian officials -- entities operating in the arms sector in Russia and individuals who provide material support to senior officials of the Russian government", and mentioned plans to impose further sanctions if Russia goes forward with incorporating Crimea into its country.

I believe there’s still a path to resolve this situation diplomatically in a way that addresses the interest of both Russia and Ukraine. That includes Russia pulling its forces in Crimea back to their bases, supporting the deployment of additional international monitors in Ukraine, and engaging in dialogue with the Ukrainian government, which has indicated its openness to pursuing constitutional reform as they move forward towards elections this spring.

- Barack Obama, US president



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Russian Deputy Prime Minister
2014.03.18 04:03:09

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who was named on a list of 11 Russians and Ukrainians sanctioned by the White House for Russia's takeover of Crimea, suggested on Monday that the measures will not affect those without assets abroad.

"Comrade Obama, and what will you do with those who have neither accounts nor property abroad? Or didn't you think of that?" Rogozin, who is responsible for Russia's defense industry, said on his Twitter micro-blog. [Reuters]



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