Bloomberg Business reports this week on all matters pertaining to Ukraine. Russian President, Vladimir Putin, was put on notice by the United States and European Union (EU). Putin is expected to defuse the Ukraine conflict through negotiating diplomacy. Crimean separatists are backed by Russian forces who are pushing to split from Ukraine. Obama said yesterday that the United States will be moving forward in attempts to press Russia into de-escalation.
Obama signed an order for financial sanctions as European leaders suspended trade with Russia. Punitive measures have created a rift between the West and Russia as was seen in the Cold War. The United States and allies will continue to increase pressure. Putin was told through a phone call yesterday that Russia’s actions were in violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, but things can still be resolved diplomatically, reported a White House statement.
Juan Zarate, senior adviser with a Washington policy group, says this current issue is a matter of political will, and diplomatic strategy. Tensions in Ukraine reportedly have increased risks to Russia’s economy; which has been reported to be suffering from currency depreciation.
Yesterday, EU leaders agreed to prepare for further sanction. EU President Herman Van Rompuy says it is time to draw Ukraine closer to the 28-nation bloc. Travel bans, asset freezes, and the EU-Russia summit cancellation will be considered as additional measures.
Obama authorized Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to also take steps similar to what the EU has initiated. The President would reportedly like to see a block against American companies and individuals doing business with Russians, Ukrainians, and anyone else who might be a threat to Ukraine’s security. The United States has taken measures to prevent misappropriated assets, or proceeds from bribery and corruption. 18 people have been named, including the President of Ukraine, in a release by the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Network who are now being monitored for suspicious asset transaction.
Anders Aslund, from the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, alleges the Europeans have more economic leverage than the United States. Economic pressures depend mostly on Europeans taking action since it is Europe that receives half of Russian exports.
The United States House of Representatives have voted for a bill that will allow $1 billion in loans for Ukraine. Republican senator from Arizona is also working on a package that includes a loan-guarantee authorization, direct aid, and some other form of sanction authorization against Russia.
Obama recently discussed the situation with Ukraine with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. They came to an agreement that will include IMF support for the new government in Kiev.
Kerry spoke with reporters in Rome about a method of lowering tensions, to which Lavrov intends on reporting to Putin. Talks between Russia and Ukrainian officials are hoped to transpire in the coming months with the aid of international participation. Lawmakers in Crimea voted to become part of Russia if voters agree in referendum. Putin and Parliament were asked to begin forming new procedures to adopt the province as an entity of the Russian Federation.
NATO calls the Crimea crisis the gravest threat to the European security since the Cold War. Both business and political matters will continue being reported in Russia, Ukraine, Washington and other parts of Europe as the world waits for a resolution.
Ukraine: Obama Signs Executive Order Allowing Sanction
By Lindsey Alexander