Obama: Crimea progress cannot come from 'barrel of a gun'
PR dla Zagranicy
Barack Obama tells Ukraine's interim PM progress cannot be made in Crimea "with the barrel of a gun pointed at you,"; Russia TV repeats claim that Ukrainian "coup" was "co-organized in Poland".
US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk after their meeing in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, USA 12 March: photo - EPA/SHAWN THEW
After a meeting with Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk in the White House, President Barack Obama warned Russia it faced "costs" from the West unless it changed course in Ukraine, and pledged to "stand with Ukraine".
On the referendum on Sunday in Crimea on whether to break with Ukraine and join the Russian Federation, Obama said that "the issue now is whether Russia is able to militarily dominate a region of somebody ease’s country, engineer a slapdash referendum and ignore not only the Ukrainian constitution but a Ukrainian government that includes parties that are historically in opposition with each other."
Obama said that progress cannot be made between Kiev and Moscow on the Crimean issue "with the barrel of a gun pointed at you."
PM Yatseniuk said his government was eager for talks with Russia about Ukraine but warned the Kremlin that "we fight for our freedom, we fight for our independence, we fight for our sovereignty, and we will never surrender".
Meanwhile, the Russian state-backed Rossiya television channel accused Poland of "co-organizing revolution in Ukraine".
"The United States chose Poland as a broker in the Ukrainian revolution," the channel claimed on Wednesday and quoted Oleksandr Yakymenko, the former chief of the Ukrainian Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and ally of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych as saying that radicals in Independence Square in Kiev were "trained in Poland" - an allegation repeated by President Putin on 4 March.
The former security chief claimed that "training camps" had been "organized for a long time in Poland, Latvia and Lithuania," Poland's TVN24 news channel reports.
A spokesman for Poland's foreign ministry, Marcin Wojciechowski has said that the ministry "does not comment on media digressions."
Chancellor Angela Merkel and Polish PM Donald Tusk said in Warsaw on Wednesday that if Russia does not show immediately that it is willing to enter into constructive dialogue then EU sanctions will follow.
The two leaders added that the exact nature of sanctions against Russia would be discussed at a meeting of EU foreign ministers next Monday. (pg)