Skip to comments.Obama calls on Putin to move troops from Ukraine border
Posted on 03/28/2014 6:05:39 AM PDT by AU72
President Obama, in an interview in Rome with "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley, said Russia must take steps now to reduce tensions over Ukraine.
"It's well known and well acknowledged that you've seen a range of troops massing along that border under the guise of military exercises. But these are not what Russia would normally be doing. And, you know, it may simply be an effort to intimidate Ukraine or it may be that they've got additional plans," Mr. Obama said.
To resolve and de-escalate the situation right now, Mr. Obama said Russia needs "to move back those troops and to begin negotiations directly with the Ukrainian government, as well as the international community."
Mr. Obama said Russian President Vladimir Putin has been "willing to show a deeply held grievance about what he considers to be the loss of the Soviet Union."
"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 but, in fact, to move forward with further integration with the world economy and to be a responsible international citizen."
Mr. Obama said Putin considers the breakup of the Soviet Union to be "tragic."
"There's a strong sense of Russian nationalism and a sense that somehow the West has taken advantage of Russia in the past and that he wants to, in some fashion, reverse that or make up for that.
"What I have repeatedly said is that he may be entirely misreading the West," Mr. Obama continued. "He's certainly misreading American foreign policy. We have no interest in encircling Russia and we have no interest in Ukraine beyond letting the Ukrainian people make their own decisions about their own lives."
He continued, "And it is true that we reject the notion that there is a sphere of influence along the Russian border that then justifies Russia invading other countries. Certainly they're going to have influence because of trade and tradition and language and heritage with Ukraine. Everybody acknowledges that. But there's a difference between that and sending in troops, and because you're bigger and stronger taking a piece of the country - that is not how international law and international norms are observed in the 21st century."
Asked about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's response and whether NATO is a hollowed-out force, Mr. Obama made the point that it is up to all of the NATO allies to contribute, including Germany, Britain and others, in order to have a credible force as a counterweight against Putin's Russia, according to Pelley.
Eighty-five percent of U.S. forces have been removed from Europe since 1989. The U.S. formerly had 400,000 troops there, and now only about 50,000 troops remain.
Mr. Obama wouldn't be specific about what the U.S. would do if Russia pushed further into Ukraine, but he did say that there would be more economic sanctions brought to bear, not just by the U.S. but by the world community.
The latest CBS News poll shows that 46 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Obama is handling the Ukraine situation, compared with 38 percent who approve.
Fifty-six percent of American approve of the sanctions leveled against Russia by the U.S. and other European countries, but 65 percent don't think the U.S. should provide military aid and weapons to Ukraine.
In addition, 57 percent of Americans think the situation in Crimea is beyond the control of the U.S. However, Pelley noted on "CBS This Morning" that broad international condemnation of Russia's invasion of Crimea has buoyed the presidents hopes of resolving the conflict.
"On Thursday, a vote at the United Nations and 100 countries to 11 voted in favor of a resolution that condemned the invasion of Crimea, so the president really feels he has the backing of the rest of the world, and he hopes that these economic sanctions will be enough to deter Putin."
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Hmm, What’s Obama talking about? Hey Obama, the 1980’s called, and they want their foreign policy back. Sorry, that line never gets old.
“Let me be clear, there will be another condemnation followed by a free flowing red line...”
Obama should strongly demand that Putin not move any of his troops from the border.
Remove those troops or else!
You guessed right: they move closer to the border. The buildup continues, some elite Russian units has being deployed, I doubt that is only for looks - too expensive for a show.
Did the CBS report miss that punk POTUS added “Pretty Please” to his statement?
the binocs shot is great.May I borrow it
I guess they read Kissinger's Op Ed that calling Putin names ( he is living in the 18th Century) is a Foreign Policy but shows a lack of a Policy.
Lol! You " negotiate" from a position of strength, dimwit.
Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
Mr. Obama continued. “He’s certainly misreading American foreign policy. We have no interest in encircling Russia and we have no interest in Ukraine beyond letting the Ukrainian people make their own decisions about their own lives.”
From Russia’s view point, I don’t know if I would believe this.
Obama is communist trained from way back.
He is aiding and abetting this expansion.
He has to look like he is not.
And he is not very convincing.
This means Obama, Soros, and the sodomite EU are going to continue to try to encircle Russia and will continue to meddle in Ukraine's internal politics as they have been doing.
This was all laid out years ago in arch-Globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski's book The Grand Chessboard.
That’s the dumbest request yet.
Well, this ought to stop Putin in his tracks!
Putin needs to remember that mac daddy has just received 5 cartons of red pen and is more than willing to use them all.
Obama wants to give Putin the Ukraine. He does not want Putin to take it. THAT is the crux of the problem.
I can just see Putin laughing at this. One of the innumerable problems with the annointed one is that he actually believes the hagiographic fawning drivel the lickspittle MSM puts out about him. He believes that all he has to do is say the word, and thigs will go as he says. He thinks that anyone who doesn't get a tingle doen their leg at the sight of him is flawed.
You can see what happens when reality contradicts his self image when his gun control legislation didn't pass. He basically had a tantrum in the rose garden, and lectured all those who oppsed him as to how wrong they were.
There have already been negotiations. Why and how do you think the Ukrainian soldiers walked out of Crimea. Of course, the Ukraine lost about 15,000 troops in that negotiation...troops that wish to stay and be a part of Russia.
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