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Showing posts from April 26, 2014

Obama Plays with Fire in Ukraine

By Sheldon Richman

- "FFF" - “The U.S. is sending about 600 ground troops to Eastern Europe … to ‘reassure’ allies there as Washington resumes its campaign of pressure on Russia over the Ukraine standoff.” — POLITICO

How many American parents would proudly send their sons and daughters off to kill or be killed in Slovyansk or Donetsk? How many young men and women aspire to be the first American to fall in Kramatorsk?

Those towns are in eastern Ukraine. President Obama says the “military option” — war, that is — is not on the table in his effort to oppose Russia in the Ukraine crisis, but can we trust him? As pressure mounts on him from America’s war hawks, what will he do when sanctions fail to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to acquiesce? Will the military option then find its way onto that infamous table?

Obama has dispatched 600 soldiers to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The U.S. Navy has ships present in the Black Sea, an understandably sensitive matter f…

Exclusive: Putin Halts All Talks With White House

By Josh Rogin

 "Daily Beast" - As new U.S. sanctions against Russia loom, the Kremlin has shut down—at least for now—intensive high level communications between top U.S. and Russian officials.

Since the "invasion of Crimea", President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama have had regular phone calls in an often half-hearted attempt to deescalate the ongoing crisis inside Ukraine. But as the U.S. and EU prepare to unveil new sanctions against Russia, Putin has decided the interactions should stop. The Kremlin has ended high-level contact with the Obama administration, according to diplomatic officials and sources close to the Russian leadership. The move signals an end to the diplomacy, for now.

“Putin will not talk to Obama under pressure,” said Igor Yurgens, Chairman of the Institute for Contemporary Development, a prominent Moscow think tank, and a close associate of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. “It does not mean forever.”

Obama and Putin last spoke o…