Biden: US will “never recognize Russian illegal occupation of Crimea”

posted at 8:41 am on April 22, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Vice President Joe Biden demanded action from Russia to back up their commitment to ease tensions in eastern Ukraine, telling Vladimir Putin to “stop supporting men hiding behind masks.” Biden, speaking at a joint press conference with acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, also insisted that the US would never recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and warned that more sanctions are on their way unless Putin changes course:

As the crisis in Ukraine shows no signs of easing, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden promised support for Ukraine and stressed that the United States won’t recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“Ukraine is and must remain one country,” he said in Kiev on Tuesday at a press conference with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Biden also met with acting President Oleksandr Turchynov during his trip to Ukraine.

“No nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation,” Biden said. “We will never recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea.”

Biden called on Russia to “stop supporting men hiding behind masks and unmarked uniforms sowing unrest in eastern Ukraine.” He warned of additional sanctions if such “provocative behavior” does not end.

So far, Putin’s not getting the message, and neither are the so-called “pro-Russian separatists.” Another police station fell in the east overnight:

Residents told CNN that armed militants seized the police station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, late Monday. The station had been stormed on April 12 before being handed back to local officials two days later.

Amateur video from the scene shows masked, armed men escorting the local police chief to a car after seizing the building.

The video, in addition to the photos released by Ukrainian officials, seemed to show that at least some forces in Ukraine show no sign of backing down.

No kidding. The West has amped up its rhetoric and its diplomatic posturing, which is why Biden went to Kyiv instead of John Kerry. The message itself hit all the right notes. Biden said exactly what he needed to say. The only problem is that the West has a credibility problem in Moscow. The counter-efforts to Putin’s aggression have been too slow and too incremental. Ukraine may be happy to have Biden deliver this speech on their behalf, but they have to wonder when the US will apply sanctions to just a few of Putin’s cronies, who can easily maneuver around them. And that’s even more true of Europe than of the US.

Biden says the US won’t recognize Crimea as Russian. Ukrainians who live there are having the same problem, the New York Times’ Neil Farquhar reports:

One month after the lightning annexation, residents of this Black Sea peninsula find themselves living not so much in a different state, Russia, as in a state of perpetual confusion. Declaring the change, they are finding, was far easier than actually carrying it out.

The chaotic transition comes amid evolving tensions in nearby eastern Ukraine, where the possible outcomes include a Crimea-annexation replay.

In Crimea now, few institutions function normally. Most banks are closed. So are land registration offices. Court cases have been postponed indefinitely. Food imports are haphazard. Some foreign companies, like McDonald’s, have shut down.

Other changes are more sinister. “Self-defense units,” with no obvious official mandate, swoop down at train stations and other entry points for sudden inspections. Drug addicts, political activists, gays and even Ukrainian priests — all censured by either the government or the Russian Orthodox Church — are among the most obvious groups fearing life under a far less tolerant government.

In fact, switching countries has brought disarray to virtually all aspects of life. Crimeans find themselves needing new things every day — driver’s licenses and license plates, insurance and prescriptions, passports and school curriculums. The Russians who have flooded in seeking land deals and other opportunities have been equally frustrated by the logistical and bureaucratic roadblocks.

Give it a couple of more months, and no one will recognize the place. However, Russians are now flooding into the peninsula to lecture the locals on how to become Russian:

“Nonsense!” said Yelena Yurchenko, the minister for tourism and resorts and the daughter of a Soviet admiral who retired in Crimea. These “are small issues that can be resolved as they appear,” she said, adding, “It might result in certain tensions for the lazy people who do not want to make progress.”

Legions of Russian officials have descended on Crimea to teach the local people how to become Russian. In tourism alone, Ms. Yurchenko said, Crimea needed advice about Russian law, marketing, health care and news media.

If all this is true, then exactly how credible was that plebiscite Russia conducted under military occupation, anyway?


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Biden: US will “never recognize Russian illegal occupation of Crimea”

And Russia will never recognize you and Obama as leaders….

right2bright on April 22, 2014 at 8:45 AM

If all this is true, then exactly how credible was that plebiscite Russia conducted under military occupation, anyway?

How credible was the plebiscite conducted in Kosovo under NATO military occupation?

Jon0815 on April 22, 2014 at 8:48 AM

If all this is true, then exactly how credible was that plebiscite Russia conducted under military occupation, anyway?

As credible as Dear Liar’s oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States

rbj on April 22, 2014 at 8:51 AM

I’ll never recognize Obama or Biden as the legitimate leaders of the United States, but that won’t remove them from Washington.

claudius on April 22, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Biden said. “We will never recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea.”

And we promise that if Ukraine will give up their NUKES then the US and NATO will Always be there to protect you when you need us. Unless, of course, a liberal, lying, low life President decides he won’t.

SayNo2-O on April 22, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Spot on right2bright

cmsinaz on April 22, 2014 at 8:56 AM

And Russia will never recognize you and Obama as leaders….

right2bright on April 22, 2014 at 8:45 AM

On this Russia is correct. A mad but lazy and stupid rat-eared idiot and a dithering moron do not instill fear into Putin.

But hey, at least Biden didn’t start his speech in Kiev telling them how in awe he is of the Ukrainian people that they would name their capital after a chicken dish.

Happy Nomad on April 22, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Oh,that ought to stop them,Joe!Pusillanimous joke!

redware on April 22, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Which will sort out more quickly: administrative hassles in Crimea, or obamacare?

GaltBlvnAtty on April 22, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Joe should do what he does best. Go to the Eastern border of the Ukraine, bend over and face his brain (arse) toward Russia, expose his two hemispheres and repeat, “Nyah, nyah, nyah…”. Then, declare “victory” and return to the US, (toilet) paper in hand, declaring, “A piece in our time!”

vnvet on April 22, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Biden called on Russia to “stop supporting men hiding behind masks and unmarked uniforms sowing unrest in eastern Ukraine.” He warned of additional sanctions if such “provocative behavior” does not end.

Make me – Putin

workingclass artist on April 22, 2014 at 9:22 AM

US will never recognize Crimea as Russia because most Americans cannot find it on a map.

Those that do, however; they disfavor military engagement.

The less Americans know about Ukraine’s location, the more they want U.S. to intervene.

antisense on April 22, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Biden: US will “never recognize Russian illegal occupation of Crimea”

But we recognize people with “slight Indian accents”
who run 7-11′s in Delaware…

ToddPA on April 22, 2014 at 9:26 AM

I wonder what Kerry thinks of Biden being in his territory?

jake-the-goose on April 22, 2014 at 9:29 AM

God help the Ukrainians if Obama and Biden are the heroes they are looking to for rescue.

ImmigrantsWife on April 22, 2014 at 9:33 AM

“US will never recognize” Russian actions in the Crimea?

I wonder what odds he could get in Vegas on that being true.

MTF on April 22, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Obama wanted to be Putin’s homeboy and ended up his houseboy.

Lonetown on April 22, 2014 at 9:41 AM

God help the Ukrainians United Statesians if Obama and Biden are the heroes they are looking to for rescue.

ImmigrantsWife on April 22, 2014 at 9:33 AM

FIFY

DublOh7 on April 22, 2014 at 9:43 AM

I figure Putin is a pretty cold and ruthless individual. I also figure he is no moron. Decades ago Khrushchev told the United States that ‘we will bury you’. Today, Putin looks across the Atlantic and sees Obama, a moron, basically doing the job that the Soviets wanted to in the past. He also sees that the big O never makes good on his “threats’. I doubt very much that Biden’s remarks are keeping Putin up at night.

DaveDief on April 22, 2014 at 9:43 AM

OMG! McDonalds shut down! Of course they realize this means war!

vlad martel on April 22, 2014 at 9:48 AM

You can’t believe what Obama says because he’s deceitful.

You can’t believe what Biden says because he’s an idiot.

Same result, different reasons.

LashRambo on April 22, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Off mike, Biden was heard to ask. “Where’s Crimea?”

HumpBot Salvation on April 22, 2014 at 10:32 AM

OMG! McDonalds shut down! Of course they realize this means war!

vlad martel on April 22, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Not necessarily but if the shutdown occurred during the availability of the McRib…….. Well, I’m pretty sure that is one of the signs of Armeggedon.

Happy Nomad on April 22, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Biden: “US will never recognize…”
Putin: “Here goes the last f#ck I’ve given today.”

Rix on April 22, 2014 at 10:36 AM

We won’t recognize it but we won’t do anything about it and Putin knows that.

crankyoldlady on April 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM

The less Americans know about Ukraine’s location, the more they want U.S. to intervene.

antisense on April 22, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Where’d you get that “fact” or are you one of those crazy Paulbot isolationists who don’t bother with truth in facts? I know of nobody outside John McCain that is screaming for the U.S. to put boots on ground in Crimea. However, given the Budapest Memorandum, the United States should be giving far more assistance than a bunch of stale MREs and non-military financial aid.

The problem is that Crimea and Ukraine are far more complicated an issue than idiots like Biden, Kerry, and the rat-eared wonder suggest. The reality is that, tactics aside, Russia actually has a legitimate case for a Russian Crimea. At the same time Kyiv has an equally justifiable claim.

Happy Nomad on April 22, 2014 at 10:43 AM

Oh jeeze, they sent the Waterhead. We’re all doomed…

mojo on April 22, 2014 at 10:53 AM

Country boarders are established for many different reason. Geographic features, ethnic similarities, Government affiliations.

When I was young and walked on all fours their was but one Viet Nam and there was peace. I became man and walked on two legs, was told their must be two Viet Nam’s and their begot 20 years of war. Now I walk on three legs and there is peace. Not sure but maybe there is a message here.

In the last 60 years the area of Eastern European and Crimean have been part of at least 3 different countries. Germany then Russia then NATO. Never have the people of the affected areas been asked what they think, and then there is war.

Maybe the Men of the World should just stay out of it. Doesn’t look like they have done that good of a job at it.

jpcpt03 on April 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Uh, Joe, we true Americans do not want this illegal administration that took over America. Now, turn around and tell Obama, yourself and this administration they must go! NOW! Otherwise, serious consequence and NO RED LINE will be given nor drawn as you all pack and move out of our White House and America. Tomorrow strikes me as a great day for this to take place. Thank you for nothing for sorrow, money problems, stupid remarks and actions, or lack thereof, and for bringing America down to a laughingstock throughout the planet. Gee, I hope you all can find a new country to live in, maybe Kenya?

Roselle on April 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Golly Joe, just like the BLM grabbing the Bundy ranch, or didn’t that make you notice?

mixplix on April 22, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Read my link. There was an article hyperlink in my post.

antisense on April 22, 2014 at 11:31 AM

The U.S. also never recognized the Soviet Union’s annexation of the Baltic States. But I don’t think that made one whit of difference; most people treated them like just another part of the USSR until they declared independence. It arguably matters now — now we can say that we don’t have any truly ex-Soviet states in NATO — but that’s the closest it’s come to having any practical consequence. And Russia doesn’t seem to be buying that argument….

calbear on April 22, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Stand up, Chuck! Stand up for Chuck!

Good Lt on April 22, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Oooooh Putin’s bunny slippers are a tremblin! Oooh scary Biden! This is equivalent to sending a little ole grandma to a gang meeting.

neyney on April 22, 2014 at 12:27 PM

It’s about time that Biden finally weighed in on the Tsarists attempts to steal land from the Ottoman Empire.

Alberta_Patriot on April 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Somebody needs to encourage Obama to get his manhood up because in the Crimea there is no government. All of the permits that governments require, licenses, regulations, deeds, contracts, mortgages, have no government process to recognize, register, or regulate those legal documents without which you have only chaos. Chaos mediated by armed men with no visible identification.

Or Obama could just go on vacation and let Putin sort it out, which might well be the prudent thing to do. Let Obama go play golf.

Joseph OHenry on April 22, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Biden: US will “never recognize Russian illegal occupation of Crimea”

The illegal occupation the U.S. by tens of millions of foreign invaders however will not only be recognized, it will be rewarded and encouraged.

xblade on April 22, 2014 at 1:33 PM

The illegal occupation the U.S. by tens of millions of foreign invaders however will not only be recognized, it will be rewarded and encouraged.

Still got McDonalds!

vlad martel on April 22, 2014 at 2:08 PM

“No nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation,” Biden said. “We will never recognize Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea.”

I basically agree with his position. However, Biden might want to google “Alta California” (Mexican-American war, 1846-1848).

:)

cs89 on April 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

You can’t believe what Obama says because he’s deceitful.

You can’t believe what Biden says because he’s an idiot.

Same result, different reasons.

LashRambo on April 22, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Yup.

thejackal on April 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Biden: US will “never recognize Russian illegal occupation of Crimea”

…wish he would quit farting…out of his mouth!

KOOLAID2 on April 22, 2014 at 9:26 PM