According to The White House, President Obama spent 90 minutes speaking with Vladimir Putin about invading the Ukraine. Putin said that invasion was necessary to protect Russian speaking Ukrainians. Obama said that if Russia is concerned about that, they should take it up at the United Nations.
Other American allies agree that Russia’s breach of Ukraine sovereignty is completely unacceptable.
Obama’s course is deliberate and prudent. Putin and Russia can be harmed severely without a military response.
It is better that Russia’s recalcitrant behavior be confronted now and through diplomatic actions than to pretend that Russia is coming along. They are not, and should pay a price.
When Russian citizens feel the pain of punishment levied against Putin and Russia, maybe that feedback will modify their behavior to reign in their government. Russian citizens are unlikely to be that satisfied with their government that inhibits their freedom and performs with high degrees of corruption.
“Obama ‘made clear that Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would negatively impact Russia’s standing in the international community,’ the White House said. The U.S. will ‘urgently consult’ with allies in the U.N. and other international organizations, and the White House warned in its statement that ‘Russia’s continued violation of international law will lead to greater political and economic isolation.’
Obama also spoke separately with President Hollande of France and Prime Minister Harper of Canada on Saturday. The leaders agreed that Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected, and expressed their grave concern over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, according to a White House readout.
The Kremlin said Putin talked with Hollande and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as well.
Top U.S. national security officials met earlier Saturday to discuss ‘potential policy options’ in response to Russia’s military intervention in the Crimean peninsula, the White House said. Obama did not attend the meeting but received a briefing from Susan Rice, the national security advisor.”