360° Coverage : Obama Says U.S. Military Not An Option In Ukraine

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Obama Says U.S. Military Not An Option In Ukraine

Apr 28 2014, 3:18pm CDT | by

There will be no U.S. military involvement in Ukraine, President Barack Obama reconfirmed in Manila on Monday. “Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone...

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13 weeks ago

Obama Says U.S. Military Not An Option In Ukraine

Apr 28 2014, 3:18pm CDT | by

There will be no U.S. military involvement in Ukraine, President Barack Obama reconfirmed in Manila on Monday.

“Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war at enormous costs to our troops and to our budget?” he said in a snub to the weekend war hawks on the Sunday morning talk shows.

“Frankly, most of the foreign policy commentators that have questioned our policies would go headlong into a bunch of military adventures that the American people have no interest in participating in,” Obama said. “Do people actually think us sending some additional arms into Ukraine could deter the Russian army?”

Ukraine has practically begged the U.S. for military aid to help fight pro-Russian militants on its border with Russia.  But senior government officials said that would be a waste of time and treasure.

“There’s not going to be any scenario where the Ukrainian military is brought quickly up to parity with the Russian military,” one administration official said during a press conference in Washington today.  ”This is not the type of action that usually has the most significant deterrent on Russia’s calculus.  We have a far greater ability to affect Russia and impose a cost on Russia by imposing sanctions rather than by that type of provision of assistance.”

A second round of sanctions was announced Monday by both Washington and Brussels.  Seventeen companies with ties to Russian political figures or oligarchs believed to be providing support to anti-Ukrainian militants were sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury, including more subsidiaries belonging to the Rossiya Bank group and visa sanctions on Russian politician Igor Sechin, the chairman of Russian oil major Rosneft.

Obama played good cop to Treasury’s bad cop in reaffirming his pledge against a Western military response in Ukraine.  His move follows reports today that British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond told his military commanders that British troops “would not go into battle to help save Ukraine if Russia invaded.”

Under such a scenario, Russia will likely face harsher sanctions.   The Obama administration has not named any names of companies on its future hit list, saying there was no need to make forecasts at this time.  Washington is acutely aware of the fact that Gazprom — one of the companies that would exact the harshest punishment to date against Russia — supplies nearly 30% of Europe’s natural gas.  Russia has retaliated against political foes before by turning off gas supplies.  It is unclear whether the U.S., currently awash in natural gas, could quickly make up for Russian shortfalls.  Or come close to Russian prices.

Obama is attempting to remove the tail risks associated with the tense situation in Ukraine. But with elections less than a month away there, tensions are expected to worsen.

Russia expert, Keith Darden, wrote in oped in The New York Times on Monday that the “war on truth” in Ukraine is a symptom and an accelerator of Ukraine’s chances of a messy and bloody outcome. Darden believes the only path toward peace is through free and fair elections on May 25. But this cannot be accomplished without Kiev incorporating the country’s south and east into the government mainframe as soon as possible. As it stands, pro-Russian factions in border towns in the East have hinted at wanting to become autonomous regions, or secede.

Last month, on March 16, the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine’s Black Sea voted to be annexed by Russia.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has observers on the ground ahead of next month’s election.  But the Kiev government and Russian separatists restrict its movements.  Eight OSCE monitors were kidnapped over the weekend by the separatists in Slovyansk, a city in the Donetsk province roughly four hours by car from the Russian border.  May’s election will most likely be ripe with conspiracy theorists from both sides.

Darden says Russia, the U.S., Ukraine and Europe should give OSCE more resources and authority to provide a neutral accounting of facts to avoid election myth-making.

“Ultimately, though, the ability to restore legitimate authority lies in the Kiev government’s hands,” Darden writes. “Kiev seems set on doing so through force of arms, but legitimacy does not grow from the barrel of a gun. It comes through fair elections. For them to be seen as fair, Kiev’s leaders must better incorporate the country’s south and east into the government before the voting begins. If they don’t, Russia might incorporate them first – at the point of its own guns.”

See: The War On Truth In Ukraine – The New York Times

U.S. Overtakes Russia As Oil & Gas Giant – WSJ/>/>

European Leaders Urge Obama To Export U.S. Natural Gas – The Guardian

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was told today. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by robbe ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat tod ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Dat ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern state ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in compensation. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said. ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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3

8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocat ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar S ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway (Kidex) to ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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