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Jul 21, 2014

Obama: Russia must press Ukraine rebels to allow plane probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama piled pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday to force pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine to stop blocking an international investigation into the downing of a passenger jet last week.

In what has become a dramatic escalation in the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, Obama denounced the Russian role in eastern Ukraine in some of his strongest language yet and pointedly appealed to Putin to cut ties with the separatists or risk greater international isolation.

Jul 19, 2014

Obama says Europe should see downed jet as ‘wake-up call’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday the downing of a Malaysian jetliner in a Ukrainian region controlled by Russian-backed separatists should be a “wake-up call” for the West in its drive to hold Moscow accountable for a crisis that appears to be at a turning point.

While stopping short of blaming Russia for Thursday’s crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17, in which 298 people died, Obama accused Russia of failing to stop the violence that made it possible to shoot down the plane. The United States has said the jetliner was hit by a surface-to-air missile fired from rebel territory.

Jul 18, 2014

Obama: missile from eastern Ukraine controlled by separatists hit plane

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday that a surface-to-air missile fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine was responsible for shooting down a Malaysian passenger plane on Thursday.

Obama said Russian President Vladimir Putin had the most power to reduce the violence in Ukraine and had not chosen to do so. He said Ukraine separatists had received a steady flow of support from Russia, including anti-aircraft weapons.

Jul 18, 2014

White House urges Ukraine ceasefire for plane probe, Obama talks to Putin

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) – The White House
called for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine to allow easy
access to a downed Malaysian jetliner and President Barack Obama
directed U.S. officials on Thursday to do all they could to
support an investigation into what caused the crash.

“It is critical that there be a full, credible, and
unimpeded international investigation as quickly as possible,”
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement, urging
Russia, pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine to support a
cease-fire to permit safe and unfettered access to the wreckage.

Jul 18, 2014

New U.S. sanctions hit top Russian firms; Kiev says Russia shoots down its jet

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on some of Russia’s biggest firms for the first time, striking at the heart of Vladimir Putin’s powerbase by targeting companies closest to him over Moscow’s failure to curb violence in Ukraine.

In the latest escalation of the conflict on the Ukrainian-Russian frontier, Kiev said a Russian jet had shot down one of its warplanes, its strongest accusation yet of direct Russian military involvement in the war. A Ukrainian military spokesman said the pilot of the SU-25 fighter ejected to safety.

Jul 17, 2014

New U.S. sanctions over Ukraine crisis hit Russia’s top firms

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Barack Obama imposed sanctions on some of Russia’s biggest firms for the first time, striking at the heart of Vladimir Putin’s powerbase by targeting companies closest to him over Moscow’s failure to curb violence in Ukraine.

After months of measures that hit only individuals and smaller firms, Washington imposed sanctions on Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, its second largest gas producer Novatek and its third largest bank Gazprombank. The firms are run by Putin allies who have become wealthy during his tenure.

Jul 17, 2014

U.S. slaps toughest sanctions yet on Russia, targets Putin allies

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Barack Obama imposed the toughest U.S. sanctions yet on Russia, striking at the heart of Vladimir Putin’s powerbase by targeting companies closest to him over what Washington says is Moscow’s failure to curb violence in Ukraine.

By imposing penalties on Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft, its second largest gas producer Novatek and its third largest bank Gazprombank, Washington targeted Putin’s allies, many of whom have become wealthy during his tenure.

Jul 16, 2014

U.S. hits oil giant Rosneft, other firms with toughest Russia sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama imposed the biggest package of U.S. economic sanctions yet on Russia on Wednesday, hitting Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft and other energy, financial and defense firms, with what he called significant but targeted penalties.

Obama’s latest round of sanctions came after close consultations with European leaders, who announced a less-ambitious package. The ultimate impact of the U.S. sanctions likely depends on whether the European Union follows suit.

Jul 16, 2014

U.S. imposes toughest sanctions yet on Russia over Ukraine

WASHINGTON, July 16 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
on Wednesday announced the most wide-ranging sanctions yet on
the Russian economy, targeting key institutions including
Gazprombank and Rosneft Oil Co, as well as
other energy and defense companies.

Washington has steadily escalated its financial sanctions on
Russia over what it views as Moscow’s interference in its
neighbor Ukraine and its annexation of the Crimea region. Obama
said the United States could impose further sanctions if Russia
did not take concrete steps to ease the conflict.

Jul 16, 2014

White House: Russia not taking steps to de-escalate in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Wednesday that Russia had failed to take steps needed to ease the crisis in Ukraine, striking an ominous tone that appeared to position the United States for a new round of economic sanctions against Moscow.

President Barack Obama in recent weeks has repeatedly threatened fresh new sanctions, and appears now to have run out of patience as fighting continued to rage in Eastern Ukraine.

    • About Steve

      "A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Steve has worked for Reuters in Washington for 20 years, and spent 16 of those years at the White House covering Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign."
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