President Obama is highly concerned about events taking place in Ukraine. At a late Friday afternoon press conference with reporters in Washington, the President expressed his apprehension about Russian troop movements occurring near the Ukrainian border. Reading a short statement, the President expressed his support for self-determination among Ukraine’s people.
Any direct Russian intervention would destabilize the region and result in American condemnation. Saying, “there will be costs” associated with any Russian interference into Ukrainian sovereignty, the President failed to elaborate on what such costs would be associated with Russian intervention. He called the situation in Ukraine “highly fluid.” The U.S. and its allies in Europe would continue to monitor the situation and maintain direct contacts with the governments of Russia and Ukraine.
President Obama is highly concerned about events taking place in Ukraine and that a violation of the nation’s sovereignty or territorial integrity by Russian or pro-Russian Ukrainians would not help matters. The President suggested that in best interest of Ukraine, Russia, or Europe, Russian intervention would represent a profound interference in matters of self-determination that the people of Ukraine and only the Ukraine must settle for themselves.
A Russian military intervention would violate commitments agreed to by President Putin and previous Russian governments who have agreed to adhere to Ukraine independence and obligations set under international law. The President cited that just days after the conclusion of the Sochi Olympic Games, Russia would not want the world condemning it for a military intervention.
Over the preceding months, the events leading to democracy being established in Ukraine demonstrate the deep divisions found among the citizenry. The President stated his belief that only the people of Ukraine have the universal right to settle the political and economic differences among themselves without interference or intimidation from other nations.
During the press conference, President Obama called the situation in Ukraine is being “highly fluid.” The President also stated that Vice President Biden had recently spoken with acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Olexander Turchinov to assure him the U.S. supports his government during these trying times. Vice President Biden further assured Prime Minister Turchinov that the U.S. would continue supporting Ukraine’s democratic future and territorial sovereignty.
The President ended the press conference by commending Prime Minister Turchinov’s government for its restraint. At a time when both Russian and Ukrainian troops could be mobilizing against each other for a full out war or instigating further violence justifying Russian intervention, the situation in Ukraine remained stable under the circumstances.
Upon the conclusion of the late Friday afternoon news conference, the President did not entertain questions from the press. Reporters attempted to ask about military aid being sent to Ukraine or American troops.
In overnight developments following the news conference, the Russian government approved troops for Ukraine to secure Russian interests in the Crimea where the Russian Black Sea fleet is stationed. Further tensions arose in the Crimean as armed pro-Russian men took up strategic posts justifying President Obama being highly concerned with events taking place between Ukraine and Russia.
By Brian T. Yates