TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Relations on verge of big shift

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Sunday, March 2, 2014, 8:21 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — Western powers on Sunday prepared a tough response to Russia's military advance into Ukraine and warned that Moscow could sustain economic penalties, diplomatic isolation and bolstered allied defenses in Europe unless it retreats.

The crisis might prove to be a game-changer for President Obama's national security policy, forcing him to give up his foreign policy shift to Asia and to maintain U.S. troop levels in Europe to limit Russia's reach.

The ill will and mistrust could spill over on two other global security fronts — Syria and Iran — where Russia has been a necessary partner with the West.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave no indication that he would heed the West's warnings.

Senior Obama administration officials said they believe Russia has complete operational control over Crimea and has more than 6,000 forces in the region. The United States is watching for ethnic skirmishes in other areas of eastern Ukraine, though the officials said they had yet seen Russian military moves elsewhere. The officials were not authorized to publicly discuss the situation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Secretary of State John Kerry said he consulted with other world leaders, and “every single one of them are prepared to go to the hilt in order to isolate Russia with respect to this invasion.” Obama spoke on Sunday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

Kerry planned to travel to Kiev on Tuesday for meetings with the Ukrainian government. Officials said the Obama administration will focus this week on putting together a package of economic assistance for Ukraine.

In Brussels, NATO's secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said Russia's actions have violated a U.N. charter. He said the alliance is re-evaluating its relationship with Russia.

“There are very serious repercussions that can flow out of this,” Kerry said.

Beyond economic sanctions, visa bans, freezing Russian assets, and trade and investment penalties, Kerry said Moscow risks being booted out of the powerful Group of Eight group of world powers as payback for the military incursion.

Several senators called for bolstered missile defense systems based in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Russia is “going to be inviting major difficulties for the long term,” said Kerry. “The people of Ukraine will not sit still for this. They know how to fight.”

At the Vatican, Pope Francis used his traditional Sunday midday appearance in St. Peter's Square to urge world leaders to promote dialogue as a way of resolving the crisis in Ukraine.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., discussing the potential of U.S. military strikes against Russian troops in Crimea, said, “I don't think anyone is advocating for that.” One of the administration officials indicated that the U.S. was not weighing military action to counter Russia's advances.

Rubio said it would be difficult to rein in Moscow.

As a starter, Rubio and fellow GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the Obama administration should return to plans it abandoned in 2009 to place long-range missile interceptors and radar in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. GOP says there’s no deal with Clinton on Benghazi testimony
  2. Medicare patients’ outcomes improve
  3. House skeptical but reserved on Iran deal
  4. L.A. bans handgun, rifle magazines that hold more than 10 rounds
  5. Pollard, spy for Israel in the 1980s, to be released from prison
  6. Conservation group reports pollution high in state parks
  7. Backers of Colo. school board recall claim 90K signatures
  8. Artists’ community in Calif. reeling after girl’s death; teen boy arrested
  9. Congress embraces highway bill
  10. Health spending growth to rebound
  11. Family finds $1M gold treasure in Florida