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Putin to Obama: Russian-American relations shouldn’t be sacrificed for differences over intl problems

Published time: March 07, 2014 06:18
Edited time: March 07, 2014 08:31
U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters/RIA Novosti)

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin (Reuters/RIA Novosti)

The presidents of Russia and the US have once again explained to each other by phone their diverging views on the situation in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin said he did not want relations to be sacrificed to their differences on just one issue.

An hour-long phone call on Thursday was initiated by Barack Obama several hours after he announced new visa restrictions and financial sanctions against Russians who the US accuses of contributing to the Ukrainian crisis.

President Obama emphasized that Russia’s actions are in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which has led us to take several steps in response, in coordination with our European partners,” a White House press release reads.

President Putin told his American counterpart that the government, which came to power in Ukraine following a coup, is not supported by all of the country but “is imposing its absolutely illegitimate decisions upon eastern, southeastern and Crimea regions.”

Russia cannot ignore calls for help it receives in this situation and it acts accordingly, in full compliance with international law,” Putin said as cited in a Kremlin statement on Friday.

The Russian president emphasized that he regarded Russian-US relations as ones of paramount importance to guarantee stability and security in the world.

These relations should not be sacrificed to differences over individual – even though very important – international problems,” the press release says.

Both the US and Russian presidents said that heads of their foreign offices, John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov respectively, will continue intensive talks over Ukrainian crisis.

On Thursday the parliament of Crimea, mostly Russian-speaking autonomous region and epicenter of the current tensions between Moscow and Kiev, made a decision to secede from Ukraine and become part of Russia. That decision still has to be approved by a simple majority of Crimeans at a referendum scheduled for March 16.

The news was unwelcome by the coup-imposed government of Kiev, which described the Crimean referendum as illegitimate.

The reaction from the White House was a spontaneous briefing by President Obama, who said the referendum being considered in Crimea would violate international law if approved.

“Any discussion about the future of Ukraine must include the legitimate government of Ukraine,” Obama said. “In 2014, we are well beyond the days when borders can be redrawn over the heads of democratic leaders.”

Washington also announced on Thursday that the US had begun imposing sanctions against Russia, including visa restrictions against anyone “who threatens the sovereignty” of Ukraine.

EU leaders have also threatened Russia with sanctions, which could include visa bans, asset freezes and various economic restrictions unless it engages in direct talks with the coup-appointed Ukrainian government.

Facts you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil

More than half the Crimean population are Russian and use only this language for their communication.

Crimean authorities denounced the self-proclaimed government in Kiev and declared that all Ukrainian law enforcement and military deployed in the peninsula must take orders from them. The majority of troops in Crimea switched sides in favor of the local authorities.

Comments (248)


Freaky 08.03.2014 21:25

Mark Richardson 07.03.2014 23:02

You ppl are just as bad as sadam ukrain is it's own country and NO nation not even the dirty Russian has the right to enter ANY country you say America


Yo u are so blind that you do bot see the evil tricks of the West. There is a good reason for Putin to act this way. This man is an old KGB chief and knows al the dirty tricks of the West.
You are so blind that you not even notice that the West supports Neo Nazi's to reach their geopolitical goal
Russia is a gentlemen compare with the US about standing above the law
So do your homework before you comment


Freaky 08.03.2014 21:19

clover 08.03.2014 09:28

Who uses this type of phone anymore?


Wh it that type of phone you can mount scrambelers, so you are a sure that no one can pick up your message


Anna Charles 08.03.2014 19:32

If enough people in the world wake up to a falsified birth certificate, would other leaders refrain from ' dealing' with Obama on the basis that he was exempt from the office of President from the beginning?

Just curious.

View all comments (248)
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