Monday, February 24, 2014

Obama Official Warns Russia on Military Action in Ukraine

A senior US official on Sunday warned Moscow not to send troops into Ukraine amid the political crisis gripping Russia’s ex-Soviet neighbor, saying such a move would constitute a “grave mistake.” “It’s not in the interests of Ukrainian or of Russia or of Europe or the United States to see the country split. It’s in nobody’s interest to see violence returned and the situation escalate,” White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press." Rice’s comments followed a report by the Financial Times last week quoting an unidentified senior Russian official as saying that Moscow could intervene to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine’s Crimea territory, home to a Russian naval base. “If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war. They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia,” the official was quoted as saying in a reference to Russia’s 2008 war with Georgia over the breakaway republic of South Ossetia. Rice said in Sunday’s interview that the situation in Ukraine “is not about the US and Russia” and that closer Ukrainian ties with Europe would not come at the expense of the country’s historical links with Russia.

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