PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA said Tuesday that Russia’s annexation of Crimea, its invasion of eastern Ukraine and a destabilizing military intervention in Syria were “unacceptable.”
Speaking to reporters in the White House Rose Garden, the president said that while there are some similarities between Russia and the U.S., “Putin’s unacceptable aggression is a huge mistake and the consequences are far reaching.”
The president said Russia’s actions “have nothing to do with Russia.
It has everything to do, and I think it is very important to understand that, because the way you understand it is that Russia is trying to control what we are doing.”
He added, “The U.K. and the EU are doing a lot of good things in the world.
They have been the good guys.
But the way that Putin has behaved is wrong, it is dangerous and it is not helping us.”
Obama made his comments after Putin said Russia was ready to “provide military support to the Syrian government” to defend its borders.
He also said Putin had told him that he wanted to send Russian troops to eastern Ukraine, saying, “I told him, ‘You don’t need to do that.
You don’t have to go there.’
You can send troops to Ukraine, but you can’t go there to defend it.”
Putin has been under heavy criticism from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other world leaders over his military intervention, including a recent U.n.
Security Council vote that imposed sanctions on Russia and several other countries.
Guterres said Tuesday in a statement that Russia had to show restraint, saying it had to abide by international law.
He added that Russia should take all steps to prevent further destabilization in the region and the world.
“Today, the U:S.
administration will not allow any country to threaten the peace and security of the world with the actions of one man,” Guterre said.
“The world is watching.”
In Ukraine, the Russian ambassador in Kiev, Vladimir Lukin, said in a televised statement Tuesday that the country’s parliament passed a resolution Tuesday that calls for a new round of negotiations between the government and the opposition.
Lukin also said Russia and Ukraine will discuss “the possibility of a dialogue in which we can achieve a solution to the situation in Ukraine.”
The United States is considering additional sanctions against Russia, including travel bans and asset freezes, according to the White-House.
Obama has said sanctions against Putin have failed.
A White House official told reporters that Obama would sign a proclamation at 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday that would impose new sanctions on Russian individuals and companies.
The official said Obama will sign the proclamation in a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will deliver the address at 4 p.n., the White of the President.
Obama will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at 2:00 a.m., the official said.
Security Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine.
Russia has rejected Western accusations that it is arming separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The Kremlin says it has provided military support and weapons to the Ukrainian government.
Ukraine’s interim government in Kiev has accused Russia of sending troops and arms to the pro-Russian forces.
Russia denies sending troops or arms to Ukraine.