Obama: US Is Looking to 'Isolate' Russia

Says Moscow is 'on wrong side of history'

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 3, 2014 2:07 PM CST

(Newser) – President Obama says the US is taking a series of economic and diplomatic steps that would "isolate" Russia, declaring today that Moscow "is on the wrong side of history" in Ukraine—not to mention in violation of international law. Vladimir Putin, he warned, as per the AP, faces "a costly proposition" if he continues military operations in Ukraine. Speaking in the Oval Office, the president said Congress' "first order of business" should be an aid package to Ukraine.

Amid numerous reports that the State Department is readying sanctions against Russia, Politico notes that Harry Reid urged that America first get Europe on board: "The most important thing is for us—the United States—to make sure that we don’t go off without the European community. Their interests are really paramount if we are going to do sanctions of some kind. We have to have them on board with us." That might not be long in coming, notes the AP, as EU leaders have scheduled an emergency summit for Thursday in which they are expected to leverage sanctions against Russia, failing some last-minute show of goodwill in Ukraine. "The ambition is to see the situation improve," says EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. "If it doesn't, then the course is set."

President Obama listens as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in the Oval Office, Monday, March 3, 2014.
President Obama listens as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in the Oval Office, Monday, March 3, 2014.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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