White House: more sanctions on Russia to come
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
WASHINGTON D.C. – The White House warned Tuesday that additional sanctions against Russia are pending following a fiery speech from Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he claimed Crimea is Russian land.
“We condemn Russia's moves to formally annex the Crimean region of Ukraine. Such action is a threat to international peace and security and it is against international law. We would not recognize this attempted annexation,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney while speaking to reporters.
“Further actions, further provocations will lead to higher costs.”
The U.S. announced Monday that it had sanctioned 11 individuals – seven Russian and four Ukrainian – following a referendum in Crimea in which voters opted to unite with Russia. The EU sanctioned 21 individuals in its own action.
The poll has come under international criticism, with the West saying it would not recognize the results. An astounding 96.7% of voters chose to unite with Russia, according to official results.
Russia and the West have clashed over Ukraine following the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovych after three months of political protests, and the subsequent incursion of Russian troops into the Crimean peninsula.
Speaking before the Russian parliament, President Vladimir Putin claimed that Crimea is Russia’s territory, and slammed the West as ‘irresponsible’ for its actions in Ukraine.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking with students at a Town Hall meeting at the Department of State, said Putin’s speech was devoid of reality.
It “really just didn't jive with reality or with what's happening on the ground,” according to Kerry. “And the president may have his version of history, but I believe that he and Russia, for what they have done, are on the wrong side of history.”
Kerry warned that stirring ‘nationalistic fervor’ poses significant risks for global stability, and pointed to the run-up to the Second World War.
Residents of eastern Ukraine are “being bombarded” by Russian television carrying propaganda saying that Ukraine has been taken over by Nazis, Kerry said.
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