Video: Obama warns Russia of “cost” in Crimea

posted at 9:21 am on March 13, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama sent strong signals to Vladimir Putin as pro-Russian forces controlling the Crimean peninsula prepare for a vote on when (rather than whether) to annex the province to Russia once again. In a meeting with Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Obama rejected the legitimacy of the upcoming plebiscite and warned of “costs” to Russia if Putin pushed forward for his plan to seize Crimea. Yatsenyuk expressed hope that Ukraine and Russia could have a friendly relationship, but pledged that Ukraine would “never surrender”:

U.S. President Barack Obama and Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had strong words for Russia on Wednesday as Washington again warned Moscow there will be consequences if it doesn’t remove its troops from Crimea and Kiev said that it will “never surrender.”

But Yatsenyuk also said after his meeting with Obama at the White House that Ukraine, a former Soviet Republic, wants to be good friends with Russia.

“We will continue to say to the Russian government that if it continues on the path that is on, then not only us but the international community … will be forced to apply a cost to Russia’s violations of international law,” Obama told reporters. “There is another path available, and we hope that (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin is willing seize that path.”

Yatsenyuk — who took over after the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian former president of Ukraine — said that Ukraine is fighting for its freedom.

“We fight for our sovereignty, and we will never surrender,” he said. Later he added that he wanted to be clear that Ukraine “is and will be a part of the Western world” but still a “good friend and partner of Russia.”

Yatsenyuk isn’t kidding around. Ukraine just voted to mobilize a new National Guard to defend its borders:

Ukraine’s parliament has voted to create a 60,000-strong National Guard to bolster the country’s defences.

The vote came ahead of Sunday’s referendum in Crimea, now controlled by pro-Russian forces, on whether citizens want to join Russia.

President Vladimir Putin insists Russia is not to blame for the crisis.

But Germany’s Angela Merkel says Moscow faces “massive” political and economic damage if it refuses to change course. The US has also threatened action.

That may not be enough, and it might be too late by the time they’re needed:

Russia is gathering thousands of troops, artillery and other equipment at the border with Ukraine as part of military training exercises that are also a blunt reminder the superpower could easily move deeper into the neighboring country.

The exercises are scheduled to take place over the next two weeks amid a standoff with the United States and Europe over the fate of Ukraine’s Crimea region — currently occupied by Russian troops. …

Over the last few days Russian armored vehicles have been spotted in Belgorod, farther to the north. The Defense Ministry said that the exercises included 8,500 artillery troops, along with an assortment of rocket launchers, howitzers, anti-tank guns and other weapons.

Obama noted that Congress is working on aid to Ukraine — but that’s not going very well, thanks in large part to Democrat attempts to use the aid package for their own political goals:

Prospects for quick passage of U.S. financial aid to Ukraine dimmed Tuesday as the Senate’s top negotiator pushed for a broader package that threatens to draw opposition from the Republican-led House.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) told reporters that he wanted to move the Ukraine aid package Wednesday—including language designed to overhaul and strengthen the International Monetary Fund.

Democrats say the IMF provisions will boost the amount of money the West can loan to Kiev. But many Republicans have balked at the measure, saying it is an attempt by the White House to use a crisis to advance its own agenda.

Last week, the House overwhelmingly voted to provide loan guarantees to Ukraine to fulfill the White House goal of providing $1 billion in short-term aid. Republican leaders believe that measure, which doesn’t include the IMF language, is the only option if Congress is to approve aid this week, when Ukraine’s new prime minister is in Washington.

“It seems very likely that the only way for Congress to act on the issue this week would be for the Senate to pass the House-passed measure,” a House GOP leadership aide said.

Menendez’ committee passed the package with the IMF language in it late yesterday, which means the Senate will need to decide on whether to vote on that bill or the House measure. If Menendez’ version passes, the IMF language could get removed in a conference committee, but that will take some time to go through that process. The quicker route would be to pass the House version, but don’t expect Harry Reid to pass up a chance to stick it to the GOP, even at the expense of the Ukrainians.

 


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Kickback?

RushBaby on March 13, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Oh yeah, Vladimir? Well I’m just going to wag my finger at you – you are a bad man!

22044 on March 13, 2014 at 9:26 AM

We could send Europe our Gas…Oh never mind…

workingclass artist on March 13, 2014 at 9:30 AM

I’m sure Putin wet himself worrying about those ‘costs.’

Thomas More on March 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM

This is the first story I’ve seen on this meeting yesterday. But you know who else was at the White House yesterday and got media attention? Kermit the Frog.

Yeah, that’s right. Kermit’s visit was better covered than Yatsenyuk.

Happy Nomad on March 13, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Nobel Peace Prize winner huh?…..

“According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who in the preceding year “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

I guess Obama made good on the reduction of a standing army….ours.

Electrongod on March 13, 2014 at 9:34 AM

“Let me be clear Prime Minister you can depend on me just as the American people depend on me that same as, if they like their insurance they can keep it. Therefore if you like your country you can keep it, you have my word on it.”

B.Obama

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 13, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Putin to Obama: “Crimea river, yo.”

BuckeyeSam on March 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Obama warns Russia of “cost” in Crimea

…what the he11 does JugEars …know about cost?…

KOOLAID2 on March 13, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Putin to Russian colleagues: “Thank God for American white guilt. We are back in business now!”

BuckeyeSam on March 13, 2014 at 9:37 AM

With feckless leaders like Barack HUSSEIN Obama in the West, Russia’s seizure of Crimea is going to cost Putin less than an overpriced Starbucks coffee.

ConstantineXI on March 13, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Ah yes, Russia vs. the Ukraine national guard . . . that should take Russia about a half hour. This is becoming absurd.

rplat on March 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Well, the only “COST” so far, has been to the American people, as obama continues to prove that he is unfit to hold office.

Pork-Chop on March 13, 2014 at 9:39 AM

“Let me be clear Prime Minister you can depend on me just as the American people depend on me that same as, if they like their insurance they can keep it. Therefore if you like your country you can keep it, you have my word on it.”

B.Obama

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 13, 2014 at 9:34 AM

This one – wins the thread!

22044 on March 13, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!

Again?!

22044 on March 13, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Ah yes, Russia vs. the Ukraine national guard . . . that should take Russia about a half hour. This is becoming absurd.

rplat on March 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

I heard that the French are already offering to preemptively surrender on the condition that Putin not take their snails.

ConstantineXI on March 13, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Two very weak and impotent men talking about doing nothing but sending meaningless stern warnings to a dictator thug who only understands brute force…
PS: Did the PM of Ukraine forget to shave?… He looks very wimpy as much if not more than Obama…

mnjg on March 13, 2014 at 9:42 AM

…(OT…Thank You Ed!)

KOOLAID2 on March 13, 2014 at 9:43 AM

“Aimless in Washington D.C.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 13, 2014 at 9:45 AM

Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!

Again?!

22044 on March 13, 2014 at 9:42 AM

I get it too.

When I click on the Submit button…it appears to be clicking it twice…

Electrongod on March 13, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Hapless, aimless and lost in Washington D.C..

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 13, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Keep in mind that nobody’s more {fill in emotion} than Øbama about {fill in situation} but the United States will stand {fill in level of supportive stance} with {fill in name of supposed friend or ally} for as long as we shall both exist.
.
..

….
…..
……
Is this mic on?

ExpressoBold on March 13, 2014 at 9:47 AM

” I do not have time for this, I am about the destruction of the U.S.A. and that is taking all my time now due to these little Tea Party peons.”

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 13, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Can we please get a president that doesn’t use “uh” at least once every effing sentence.

Great orator my a$$.

antipc on March 13, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Can we please get a president that doesn’t use “uh” at least once every effing sentence.

Great orator my a$$.

antipc on March 13, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Apparently the Nobel Committee is also the bunch that hands out the “greatest orator EVER” titles too.

I don’t think Obama is even an average speaker. And even if he were, how many times can you give THE SAME SPEECH before it gets old?

ConstantineXI on March 13, 2014 at 9:53 AM

THIS! IS! SPARTA! RED LINE!

NotCoach on March 13, 2014 at 9:58 AM

THIS! IS! SPARTA! RED LINE!

NotCoach on March 13, 2014 at 9:58 AM

King Barry would have wee-weed himself when the Persian emissary showed up in the first scene of “300″.

ConstantineXI on March 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

King Barry would have wee-weed himself when the Persian emissary showed up in the first scene of “300″.

ConstantineXI on March 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Yes, but he still pictures himself as a black Gerard Butler playing the part of Jesus better than Jesus can play himself.

NotCoach on March 13, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Yes, but he still pictures himself as a black Gerard Butler playing the part of Jesus better than Jesus can play himself.

NotCoach on March 13, 2014 at 10:07 AM

But no one else does. Who aren’t on drugs anyway.

ConstantineXI on March 13, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Hummm….. wonder how deep a hole the United States and the EU are going to dig for themselves in Ukraine…….. Bwhahahahgahahahahaha….of course, U.S. and EU leaders — and their media acolytes — who caused the problem we face today by intervening on behalf of self-styled “democrats” in Kiev who without foreign intervention could not have overthrown the Ukrainian president. It is getting to be that any half-baked gaggle of protestors at any location on the planet need only to chant the word “democracy” and the West will come running to their aid with diplomatic assistance, money, and a fierce disregard for either the target nation’s sovereignty or regional stability. Indeed, it may well be that the whole Ukraine protest movement was primed for action by funds, advisers, and computer systems paid for by Hillary Clinton’s State Department in a program similar to those she ran in several Arab countries.

The difference in the Ukraine intervention from others the West has conducted is that the terminally adolescent political leaders who run the West have run smack dab into a decisive, realistic, and nationalistic adult, in the person of Vladimir Putin, and they do not know what to do.

Overall, U.S. and Western leaders should be lining up to thank Vladimir Putin for a painful but thorough lesson in how the adult leader of a nation protects his country’s genuine national interests. And, it must be noted, Putin is not teaching rocket science. Had Western leaders received a decent education — especially in the fields of history and human nature — they would have been absolutely certain from the start that any destabilizing Western intervention in Ukraine that even remotely threatened Russia’s assured access to its Crimean naval bases would provoke precisely the kind of Russian response that occurred.

roflmmfao

donabernathy on March 13, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Costs,….what is O ‘gonna do……irritate him to death, with an I Pod full of his “Magnificent” speeches?

Offhanded on March 13, 2014 at 10:22 AM

….a fate worse than death

Offhanded on March 13, 2014 at 10:28 AM

Putin to Obama: “Crimea river, yo.”

BuckeyeSam on March 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM

ha ha ha

jaime on March 13, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Is our own personal idiot still trying to convince Putin that the sky is about to fall? Haven’t we been here before? Does anyone believe, much less fell threatened by, Mr. Obama’s words and “promises?”

I doubt it.

TKPedersen42 on March 13, 2014 at 11:03 AM

Toothless dog bites

jake49 on March 13, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Forget about it. Russia. Ukraine. Small potatoes. We must concentrate on the real threat — global warming! John Kerry told me so.

Kaffa on March 13, 2014 at 12:46 PM

“SHOWDOWN: KERRY GIVES RUSSIA MONDAY DEADLINE”

Or WHAT?!

Kerry: “Serious repercussions.”

Like WHAT?

Kerry: “There will be a response of some kind.”

LIKE WHAT?

Kerry: “…There will be a very serious series of steps on Monday.”

Like W*H*A*T, dumb@$$?!

Kerry: Ummmm “we have contingencies – we are talking through various options that may or may NOT be available.”

The news is reporting Russian troops are pressing further north from Crimea and more Russian troops are amassed on the eastern border of Eastern Ukraine. The Ukranian PM is expecting a possible invasion…

Kerry:
“Our hope is to have Russia join in respecting international law…”

“Our hope is not to create hysteria or excessive concern at this point in time…”

“Our hope is to avoid that, but there’s no telling that we can.”

Arrrggghhh! There’s that HOPE B$, but nothin’s gonna CHANGE….

easyt65 on March 13, 2014 at 3:18 PM

…Just like with Obama, the more Kerry’s lips move and the more they say, the more lies, deceit, B$, and say absolutely NOTHING!

easyt65 on March 13, 2014 at 3:20 PM

President Obama:
“Don’t you worry, Arseniy! At this very moment my Secretary of State, John Kerry, is issuing an ultimatum to Putin, establishing one of my patented, firesome, fear-enducing ‘Red lines’ to Putin that he has until Monday to stop what he is doing and to pull out of Crimea or face the full wrath of the Obama administration!”

Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk:
“You mean this coming Monday?”

President Obama:
“Well, ummm, yeah, an up-coming Monday.”

Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk:
“But you mean THIS coming Monday, 17 March, right?”

President Obama:
“Well, ummm, NO, Arseniy – not THIS coming Monday. We can’t just rush into this. We have to work through Diplomatic Channels. We have to send Secretary of State Kerry to meet individually with each one of our allies, take their thoughts to the other allies, bring back the responses to the original allies…then there is a remarkable amout on U.N. paperwork to lodge a complaint. Then we have to schedule to meed with the head of the U.n., and his calendar is pretty slammed right now. Once we talk to him and get a concensus, then we can speak to every nation by getting the approval to speak before the U.N. General Assembly. Then we have to gather the support to go before the U.N. Security Council…”

(Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk gets up and walks out as President Obama, staring out his oval office window, keeps talking)

“We also have to meet with our NATO partners to garner their opinions and support. While we are doing this we will ramp up our ‘PR war machine’ to put unbelievable pressure on Putin. I, of course, will hold several Press Conferences – in which I answer no questions, of course, because they are really hammering me about all kinds of scandals, Obamacare nonsense, and my so-called ‘Un-Constitutional behavior’ – and I will give the cameras some really good shots of me being all angry and stuff, and I will give Putin such a verbal scolding he will never forget….And another thing…Oh wait a second – there’s a Fox News News Flash…”

Oval Office TV”
“Russia has just invaded Eastern Ukraine…”

President Obama:
“Oh, Sh’ite! Hey Arseniy, don’t you worry about this….Arseniy? Ary, where are you?”

easyt65 on March 13, 2014 at 3:36 PM