Newscast Media WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama signed a bill authorizing new
sanctions against Russia on December 18 but said that he would not impose them “at
The Ukraine Freedom Support Act authorizes—but does not technically require—
defensive lethal aid for Kyiv and sanctions against Russian defense and energy
Obama said in a statement that the signing of the legislation “does not signal a
change in the administration’s sanctions policy.”
Sanctions, along with plummeting oil prices, have contributed to Russia’s economic
turmoil, as well as the fall of its currency.
The bill passed the divided U.S. Congress unanimously.
The bill also authorizes more loan guarantees for Ukraine and additional funds to
address the country’s energy shortage, for U.S. international broadcasting, and for
Russian democracy and civil society organizations.
Source: Radio Free Europe
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—NATO should stop its belligerent rhetoric over the
crisis in Ukraine and return to normal cooperation with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov said in an article published by The Guardian.
Below is part of the text of the article, obtained from The Guardian:
“The profound, pervasive crisis in Ukraine is a matter of grave concern for
Russia. We understand perfectly well the position of a country which became
independent just over 20 years ago and still faces complex tasks to construct a
sovereign state. Among them is the search for a balance of interests among its
various regions, the peoples of which have different historical and cultural
roots, speak different languages and have different perspectives on their past,
present and their country’s future place in the world…”
Meanwhile, the US has deployed a warship to the Black Sea as tensions between
the countries Russia, the US and Ukraine continue to rise.
Now that Crimea is not part of Ukraine, Russian President Vladmir Putin is making sure
that criminal elements from the former regime are dealt with harshly. Putin called on
the Federal Security Service (FSB) to prevent radicals or individuals with a criminal
past from working in the Crimean government.
“I ask that you pay special attention to the formation of the FSB’s subdivisions in
Crimea and Sevastopol,” Putin said during a meeting with FSB officials.
“They have the task of not allowing individuals with a criminal past or those with
radical and extremist tendencies, as well as those attempting to disrupt the normal
development of Crimea and Sevastopol, into government agencies,” the Russian
Source: Ria Novosti
Newscast Media MOSCOW—While the West was obsessed and making noise about
homosexual rights, Russia was creeping into Crimea, and took control of two airports.
Its special forces with unmarked uniforms entered the Crimean parliament as it was
still in session, and overnight, the Russians had infiltrated and occupied Crimea.
Almost 97 percent of Crimeans speak Russian, and have ties to their motherland,
therefore it came as no surprise to see Russian flags flying at the airports and on the
Crimean parliament building. The airports that are under Russian control are
Sevastopol and Simferporol. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russia has rejected a call by Ukraine to discuss the
worsening political situation in the country’s semi-autonomous Crimea region, saying
the crisis is an internal issue.
In a statement released on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry rejected a call for
consultations on Crimea with new Ukrainian officials.
The statement also added that Moscow has not violated an agreement regarding the
movement of its troops in the region.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the movement of armored vehicles belonging to
Russia’s Black Sea fleet in Crimea is in line with Russian-Ukrainian agreements.
The ministry continued by saying that the movements were needed “to ensure the
security of the places where the Black Sea fleet is stationed on the territory of
This comes as Ukraine’s new Interior Minister Arsen Avakov earlier in the day accused
Russian troops of staging an “invasion” of Crimea’s international airport in Simferopol
and the Belbek airfield near the city of Sevastopol, which is home to Russia’s Black
Ukrainian officials have also accused Moscow of escalating the violence in Crimea.
On Thursday, dozens of gunmen seized the government and parliament buildings in
Crimea and raised Russian flags over them.
However, Moscow denies that its forces have been involved in the events in Crimea.
Unrest erupted in Ukraine in November 2013, when ousted president, Viktor
Yanukovych, refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the EU in favor of
closer ties with Russia.
On February 23, the Ukrainian parliament ousted Yanukovych and named Oleksandr
Turchynov, the legislature’s newly-elected speaker, as interim president.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Viktor Yanukovych says he’s still the legitimate president
of Ukraine, and that the country’s current authorities are “fascist thugs.”
In his first public appearance since he fled Kyiv one week ago Yanukovych spoke at a
news conference in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don on February 28.
“The time has come for me to say that I intend to continue the fight for the future of
Ukraine against those who are trying, through terror and fear, to take charge over it,”
Yanukovych told reporters. “And I decided to speak publicly about that.”
Yanukovych denied that he had been removed from power, maintaining that he had
been forced to leave because of direct threats to his safety.
“Nobody has ousted me,” he said. “I was forced to leave Ukraine because of an
immediate threat to my life and the life of my loved ones.”
He added that he would return to Ukraine only after receiving guarantees of his
Yanukovych insisted that Ukraine should remain “united and whole,” including Crimea,
where there is a major Russian influence.
Yanukovych said he would not seek military assistance from anyone to return to the
seat of power in Kyiv.
He also apologized to Ukrainians for not maintaining stability. He denounced Western
powers for failing to implement the February 21 Western-brokered agreement that
Yanukovych signed with the opposition.
Radio Free Europe