Obama: Russia Is Clearly to Blame in Ukraine
Says he and Merkel agree, suggests more sanctions possible
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 28, 2014 4:48 PM CDT
President Obama speaks Thursday in the White House.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) – President Obama suggested today that the US might impose new economic sanctions on Russia, blaming it squarely for the warfare in eastern Ukraine. But he ruled out any military options and proposed no shift in an American-led strategy that has yet to convince Moscow to halt operations against its far weaker neighbor. Briefing reporters at the White House, Obama said he spoke by telephone with Germany's Angela Merkel, and "we agree, if there was ever any doubt, that Russia is responsible" for the current unrest. "The violence is encouraged by Russia. The separatists are trained by Russia, they are armed by Russia, they are funded by Russia," Obama said. "Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see."

He spoke after two columns of Russian tanks and military vehicles entered the country's southeast and fired Grad missiles at a border post, and 1,000 Russian troops poured into the country, according to NATO and Ukrainian officials. Ukraine considers it an invasion. On another major foreign-policy front, Obama played down the prospect of imminent US military action in Syria, saying "we don't have a strategy yet" for degrading the violent militant group seeking to establish a caliphate in the Middle East. He said he has asked the Pentagon to develop a "range of options." And in blunt terms, the president said it was time for Middle Eastern nations to "stop being ambivalent" about the aims of extremist groups like the Islamic State. "They have no ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people." You can read a full transcript here.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Obama: Russia 'Responsible' for Ukraine Violence is...
15%
2%
3%
51%
3%
26%
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Comments
Showing 3 of 105 comments
kawahchan
Aug 30, 2014 12:01 PM CDT
(R) 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY Report: How Obama in White House can give you a Straight Answer to America and to the world ? Every time we look at a Polish grew apple, that remind the Polish people and Polish-Americans that is Obama's strategy and Hillary Clinton's "Reset Russia" to remove our American Missiles to install in Poland's security for NATO. During 2008, when Obama was looking for his strategy to withdraw all US troops out of Iraq's soil for Middle-East's security, to erase what Bush-Cheney presidency had been done; NOW, today's Obama is the "Father of ISIS" new born ! What Americans can say ?
BillyB
Aug 30, 2014 9:30 AM CDT
Putin is just taking a chapter out of Hitler's play book and has now reminded the world that Russia does have nuclear weapons. He's basically snubbed his nose at Europe and the west and more than likely will continue with the aggression. Not since WW2 has the world been so dangerous as borders are being invaded. Maybe Obama is right and we should do nothing except impose sanctions. The Bear is out of hibernation and extreme caution must be observed.
Imhotep
Aug 29, 2014 8:43 AM CDT
The Ukraine is bankrupt. It was nearly bankrupt before the so called revolution. Their going to run out of money to pay the Army. The infrastructure and Army will collapse if the West does not subsidize it. Ask Merkel and Obama how much money their sending to the Ukraine to keep it propped up. Their investment is faltering. Their only hope is to put the squeeze on people in Russia the West thinks control the direction of Russia. Putin controls Russia's destiny. Those rich friends of his are as much friends of Putins as Stalin had friends. Their all expendable and substitutable if they don't want to agree with Putin and you better make sure he thinks your on his side or grab your Winter coat. The gas line starts in Russia. The source of the gas is Russian. The USA wants the Ukraine so it can provide the gas to the rest of Europe. They cut off the source and substitute it for theirs. Many countries in Europe realize this and hence the difficulty in drumming up support to help the USA achieve it's goals. Why would the USA want to bring a bankrupt country into it's fold unless they could financially benefit from it ? Which is one of the top reasons why Putin wants the Ukraine. Those are his pipe lines and he wants them back. The USA can't have them just so they can shut them off.