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Ukraine crisis: Putin is 'on the wrong side of history' says President Obama
President Barack Obama said on Monday night that
Russia was "on the wrong side of history” with its incursion into the
Crimean peninsula and said he was considering economic and diplomatic
options to punish it if it didn’t reverse course quickly.
"Over time this will be a costly proposition for Russia and now's the
time for them to consider whether they can serve their interests in a
way that resorts to diplomacy as opposed to force,” Mr Obama told
journalists in the Oval Office shortly before a long-scheduled meeting
with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister.
be done is for Russia with impunity to put its soldiers on the ground
and to violate basic principles that are recognized around the world,"
the President added. "And I think the strong condemnation that it's
received from countries around the world indicates the degree to which
Russia's on the wrong side of history on this."
"What we are also indicating to the Russians is that if in fact they
continue on the current trajectory that they're on, that we are
examining a whole series of steps — economic, diplomatic — that will
isolate Russia and will have a negative impact on Russia's economy and
its status in the world.”
Meanwhile, at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security
Council in New York, the Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, insisted
that that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych had requested Russia's
armed forces be deployed in Crimea to establish law and order before
fleeing Kiev last week. However, President Yanukovych had previously
said he would not ask for Russian military assistance.
The Russian claim drew a withering response from Samantha Power, the US
ambassador to the UN. "One might think that Moscow has just become the
rapid response arm of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,” she
said. Earlier the Ukrainian mission to the UN said that 16,000 Russian
troops were now on the ground inside the country’s borders.