Reportedly, President Putin’s response was not one of concern. Obama spoke for 90 minutes with Russian President Putin about the situation in Ukraine and Obama expressed concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and which is inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act. The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.
The United States called on Russia to de-escalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine. Obama told President Putin that if Russia has concerns about the treatment of ethnic Russian and minority populations in Ukraine, the appropriate way of addressing the situation is peacefully through direct engagement with the government of Ukraine and through the dispatch of international observers.
Obama made clear that Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would negatively impact Russia’s standing in the international community.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out and more so if President Putin takes Obama’s warning into account.
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