Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: Obama warns Ukraine military not to ‘step over the line’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Obama warns Ukraine military not to ‘step over the line’
Phuket Gazette / Reuters
PHUKET: U.S. President Barack Obama called on Ukraine’s armed forces on Wednesday to stay out of the country’s political crisis and warned that there would be consequences for those who “step over the line.”

Using his toughest language so far in response to a Ukrainian conflict that has drawn threats of U.S. and European Union sanctions, Obama denounced the violence and put the onus on Ukraine’s government to reach a peaceful resolution.

“We hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible for making sure that it is dealing with peaceful protesters in an appropriate way, that the Ukrainian people are able to assemble and speak freely about their interests without fear of repression,” Obama told reporters at the start of a North American summit in Mexico.

Obama and other Western leaders stepped up pressure on Ukraine’s Russian-backed president, Viktor Yanukovich, after 26 people were killed in the country’s worst violence since independence from the Soviet Union.

Shortly after Obama spoke, Yanukovich said he had agreed to a “truce” with opposition leaders and a start to negotiations to prevent further bloodshed. The crisis, complete with Cold War-style recriminations between Washington and Moscow, has centered on Independence Square in Kiev where riot police battled protesters on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Obama urged both sides in Ukraine to avoid violence but singled out the country’s military for a specific warning against intervening in the crisis.

“We expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint,” he said. “We’ve also said we expect peaceful protesters to remain peaceful, and we’ll be monitoring very closely the situation, recognizing that with our European partners and the international community there will be consequences if people step over the line.

“And that includes making sure the Ukrainian military does not step into what should be a set of issues that can be resolved by civilians,” he said.

Obama’s rhetoric carried echoes of the “red line” he declared early on in Syria’s three-year-old civil war against President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons, a warning he failed to enforce with military action last year.

Pentagon Warning

Obama’s admonition to Ukraine’s military came after its defense ministry said the armed forces might take part in a countrywide anti-terrorist operation organized by the state security service. It had previously said that troops could only be used domestically if a state of emergency were declared.

The Pentagon on Wednesday also renewed warnings for Ukraine to keep its military away from anti-government protests.

“The Department of Defence is encouraged that the Ukrainian armed forces have not been brought into this crisis. We urge them to remain on the sidelines,” said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren.

While neither Obama nor the Pentagon gave any details on the possible repercussions, U.S. officials said on Wednesday they were consulting with EU officials on sanctions against those responsible for the violence in Ukraine.

“The scenes that we saw in Kiev yesterday were completely outrageous and have no place in the 21st century,” White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters.

He said the United States would talk to European nations about the situation in Ukraine ahead of an EU foreign ministers meeting set for Brussels on Thursday to decide on sanctions.

The EU shifted course on Wednesday and moved to impose financial and travel restrictions on Ukrainian officials, even though diplomats have doubts about the effectiveness of sanctions.

Washington, which had complained earlier that the Europeans were not moving urgently enough on sanctions, was considering similar measures and expected broad congressional support, U.S. government and congressional sources said.

The Obama administration expects the number of people affected by sanctions to be “in the double digits” and to include high-ranking Ukrainian law enforcement officials “all the way up,” a U.S. congressional source said.

If all EU member states agree – and diplomats indicate there will be strong support – the EU will target those deemed responsible for the violence, including members of Yanukovich’s government, although not the president himself.

But the Obama administration was taking care not to jump out ahead of its EU allies.

The crisis erupted after Yanukovich spurned a broad trade deal with the European Union and accepted a $15 billion Russian bailout.

Rhodes said the United States would like to see Russia support efforts to reduce tensions in Ukraine, though there have been no signs of cooperation between the former Cold War foes to quell the crisis.

“I think the message we’ve delivered to the Russians is that, again, we are not in some competition for the future of Ukraine. Frankly, our interest is that the people of Ukraine are able to determine their future, not any external actor,” he said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

PM Prayut asks everyone to work together towards reopening

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Bangkok restrictions lifted on 8 categories, including swimming

Patong14 hours ago

Tar balls spreading along Phuket’s west coast beaches

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Phuket15 hours ago

Officials predict 600,000 tourists to Phuket following reopening

Phuket16 hours ago

Technician electrocuted to death while trying to fix jacuzzi

Pattaya16 hours ago

Pattaya pushes for August 1 Sealed Route reopening plan

Thailand16 hours ago

Mother alleges that Doctor mistakenly gave her 10 year old sleeping pills

Bangkok17 hours ago

1 million Sinopharm doses arrived Sunday

Tourism18 hours ago

Reopening guidelines for Phuket and Samui

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 3,682 new cases, 20 covid-related deaths, provincial totals

Thailand18 hours ago

Poll shows schools, students, parents, “not ready” for online learning

Chon Buri19 hours ago

Man returns lost parakeet, gets rewarded with BBQ

Thai Life19 hours ago

Thai Lion predicts football matches, other abilities currently unknown

Tourism19 hours ago

Reopening details for Phuket, Samui and beyond laid out

Coronavirus (Covid-19)21 hours ago

Multiple Chiang Rai schools to close after infections found

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending