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Obama warns Russia of the 'consequence' of any military intervention in Ukraine



President Barack Obama bluntly warned Russia on Friday that it
will face international condemnation as well as unspecified “costs” for
any military intervention in neighboring Ukraine.
“We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements
taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,” Obama said in
a hastily arranged public statement from the White House briefing
“Just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic games, it
would invite the condemnation of nations around the world. And
indeed, the United States will stand with the international community
in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in
Ukraine,” the president warned.
His remarks came after top Ukrainian officials charged that Russian
troops had taken over the two main airports in the strategic Crimea
RELATED: Ukrainian official says 8 Russian cargo planes in
The president did not confirm Moscow’s apparent role in the
deployments, but he declared that “any violation of Ukraine’s
sovereignty and territorial integrity” would be “deeply destabilizing”
and amount to a “profound interference” in its neighbors’ affairs, as
well as a violation of international laws.
“Throughout this crisis, we have been very clear about one
fundamental principle: The Ukrainian people deserve the opportunity
to determine their own future,” he said.
“Right now, the situation remains very fluid,” Obama said. “Vice
President Biden just spoke with the prime minister of Ukraine to
assure him that in this difficult moment, the United States supports his
government’s efforts and stands for the sovereignty, territorial integrity
and democratic future of Ukraine.”
“We will continue to coordinate closely with our European allies, we
will continue to communicate directly with the Russian government,
and we will continue to keep all of you in the press corps and the
American people informed as events develop,” he said.
Obama’s remarks were the latest sign that the crisis over Ukraine,
where protesters and the parliament pushed pro-Moscow President
Viktor Yanukovych from power, will not end quietly or anytime soon.
Top U.S. officials have reached out to their Russian counterparts in
recent days, including Obama calling Russian President Vladimir
Hours before Obama’s surprise statement, Secretary of State John
Kerry said he had discussed the situation with Russian Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“I asked specifically that Russia work with the United States and
with our friends and allies in order to support Ukraine, to rebuild
unity, security, and a healthy economy,” Kerry said. Lavrov
“reaffirmed President Putin’s statement that Russia will respect the
territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Kerry said.
It was unclear what sorts of actions Obama might take, or what
limited approach would deter the Russians

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