Obama calls Putin over ‘Illegal’ Crimea referendum

Readout of the President’s Call with President Putin

 President Obama spoke this afternoon with President Putin of Russia. President Obama emphasized that the Crimean “referendum,” which violates the Ukrainian Obama_Putin_phone

constitution and occurred under duress of Russian military intervention, would never be recognized by the United States and the international community.

He emphasized that Russia’s actions were in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that, in coordination with our European partners, we are prepared to impose additional costs on Russia for its actions.  President Obama underscored that there remains a clear path for resolving this crisis diplomatically, in a way that addresses the interests of both Russia and the people of Ukraine.

He noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take concrete steps that would allow for the de-escalation of the crisis, particularly as it prepares for elections this Spring and undertakes constitutional reform, and he asked that Russia support the immediate deployment of international monitors to help prevent acts of violence by any groups.

President Obama reiterated that a diplomatic resolution cannot be achieved while Russian military forces continue their incursions into Ukrainian territory and that the large-scale Russian military exercises on Ukraine’s borders only exacerbate the tension.  President Obama said that Secretary Kerry continues to be prepared to work together with Foreign Minister Lavrov and the Ukrainian government to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.

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3 Comments

  1. Russia and Ukraine have agreed to a military truce, which will last until March 21. Meanwhile, troops from both countries are heading toward the border between the two countries.
    Acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk has called up 20,000 men for a new national guard to tighten the borders and stem the influx of separatists seeking to undermine Ukrainian sovereignty “under the cover of Russian troops.”
    Russian citizens and children were seen casting ballots in what was characterized as a valid vote with a high turnout by Russian news sources. The referendum was assailed and boycotted by the West, pro-Ukrainian groups, and the Tatar community in Crimea.

    http://www.thewire.com/global/2014/03/50000-people-gather-moscow-protest-russian-intervention-ukraine/359210/

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