Ukraine crisis: Obama may skip G8 summit

2014-03-01 10:08
 A anti-government protester clashes with riot police in central Kiev. (Genya Savilov, AFP)

A anti-government protester clashes with riot police in central Kiev. (Genya Savilov, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Promises to Keep
    Democratic Senator Biden, presents an insiders look at life in the senate, Washington politics, and... Now R298.00
    buy now
Washington - The United States warned on Friday that President Barack Obama and other European leaders could snub the G8 summit in Sochi if they judge Russia is usurping Ukraine's sovereignty.

Obama expressed deep concern at reports that Russian forces had landed in Crimea, following claims by an official in Kiev that an "invasion" was under way.

Senior officials said the president decided to make a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room after Washington concluded that there was evidence that Moscow's forces were indeed active in Ukraine.

Heavily armed troops in uniforms with no national insignia were seen around government buildings and the airport in the Crimean city of Simferopol, as Ukrainian officials accused Russia of "naked aggression."

The crisis has mushroomed from a political and economic one following the ouster of a pro-Kremlin government in Kiev into a geopolitical showdown after claims by Ukrainian officials that around 2 000 Russian troops had landed in Crimea.

"We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine," Obama said.

A military official told AFP after the president's statement that "it looks like they've moved several hundred troops there".

The official said that the Kremlin had given no advance warning of the movement.

Obama recognised that Russia had interests and cultural and economic ties with Ukraine, and had a military facility in Crimea, a territory ceded to the Soviet republic of Ukraine by the Soviet Union in 1954.

Deeply destabilising

But he said any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be "deeply destabilising".

"The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine," Obama said.

Another senior official later suggested those costs could include a decision by Obama and top European leaders to skip the summit of G8 industrialized nations in the Black Sea Olympic resort of Sochi in June.

Other possible trade and commercial concessions that the Kremlin has been seeking as recently as this week could also be at risk, the official said.

Moscow would also squander any global goodwill spurred by the Winter Games, which ended last weekend, US officials argued.

Beyond that though, the extent of US leverage on Russia over Ukraine remained unclear.

There is no suggestion of US or allied military action, and the route to a UN Security Council resolution would be blocked by Russia as a permanent member.

Washington is also trying to avoid a Cold War-type scenario with Moscow, and needs Putin's support on a string of issues, including talks between world powers and Iran over its nuclear program, the effort to destroy Syria's chemical weapons and on withdrawing its troops from Afghanistan.

Obama warned that a Russian military intervention in the post-Soviet state would "represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people".

International mediation

But Washington will continue to communicate directly with the Russian government on the crisis, he added.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke with interim prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to "reaffirm the United States' strong support for the new government and our commitment to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and democratic future of Ukraine", a White House statement said.

In their second call in as many days, Biden "commended the government for its continued restraint", the statement added, noting that Yatsenyuk promised to uphold Ukraine's international obligations and serve the entire population.

Earlier, Washington's United Nations envoy Samantha Power called for urgent international mediation in Crimea and for Russia to withdraw forces it was building up in the region.

"The United States calls on Russia to pull back the military forces that are being built up in the region, to stand down and to allow the Ukrainian people the opportunity to pursue their own government, create their own destiny and to do so freely without intimidation or fear," Power said after an emergency UN Security Council meeting.

"The United States calls for an urgent, international mediation mission to the Crimea to begin to de-escalate the situation and facilitate productive and peaceful dialogue among all Ukrainian parties."

Also on Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by telephone with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for the fourth time in seven days.

Read more on:    joe biden  |  arseniy yatsenyuk  |  john kerry  |  barack obama  |  russia  |  ukraine  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
45 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Edgemead - 08:17 AM
    Road name: N7 Northbound
    DELAYS approaching the Bosmansdam Road exit
  • Wednesday Milnerton - 08:17 AM
    Road name: Marine Drive Inbound
    DELAYS towards Boundary Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R2999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.