Warren's Feed
Apr 13, 2014

Washington slams Moscow with another ‘false claims’ list over Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is prepared to step up sanctions against Moscow if pro-Russian military actions in eastern Ukraine continue, a senior U.S. envoy said on Sunday, but it is unclear whether new measures will win European support or slow the Russian-backed separatist revolt.

The next round of U.S. sanctions are expected to target Russian business sectors such as mining, banking and energy. But U.S. officials said it was uncertain that Europe would go along with penalties that would affect Russia’s economy and powerful energy sector.

Mar 22, 2014

Wielding sanctions as scalpel, Obama aimed for Putin’s inner circle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. sanctions this week against Russia were carefully crafted in an attempt to target President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle without provoking a backlash from Moscow against U.S. businesses, senior U.S. officials said.

Concerns about possible Russian retaliation “helped shape the discussions about appropriate sanctions” within the White House, said a senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There’s an awareness that even targeted sanctions can have broad effects.”

Mar 19, 2014

U.S. lawmakers urge Hagel to end Pentagon contracts with Russian firm

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers who oppose the Pentagon’s dealings with Russia’s state-owned arms exporting firm are using Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine to press the argument that contracts with Rosoboronexport should be ended.

“Given Russia’s recent actions that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including its support of the illegal referendum for Crimean separation, we strongly urge you to terminate these contracts,” a bipartisan group of five lawmakers from the House of Representatives wrote to U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday.

Mar 13, 2014

White House tried to mediate dispute between Senate panel, CIA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House tried to mediate between the CIA and the Senate panel that oversees it after both sides alleged they were spied on by the other over a Bush-era interrogation program, a source familiar with the discussion told Reuters on Wednesday.

The involvement of the White House’s most senior lawyer indicates President Barack Obama’s interest in ending the increasingly bitter dispute between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Mar 12, 2014

White House tried to mediate dispute between Senate, CIA panel: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House’s top lawyer has tried to mediate between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA, which are making increasingly bitter mutual charges of spying on each other about a Bush-era program of harsh interrogation, a source familiar with the discussion told Reuters.

The involvement of Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler indicates White House interest in ending the battle, in which the Central Intelligence Agency and the Senate panel have essentially accused each of spying on the other.

Mar 4, 2014

U.S. and EU marshal economic tools to punish Russia

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) – The United States has a
number of economic weapons to punish Russia for its military
intervention in Ukraine, ranging from asset freezes to kicking
Moscow out of the exclusive G8 group of countries, and President
Barack Obama is focusing first on measures that would not
require congressional action.

But Washington needs Europe to join it to make sanctions
tough enough to potentially deter Russian President Vladimir
Putin.

Mar 1, 2014

Obama, wary of foreign crises, faces East-West standoff in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Russia deepened its military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimea region on Saturday, ignoring Barack Obama’s stern warning, the U.S. president faced a critical test of whether Washington has the leverage or the will to get Moscow to back down.

Obama, who has avoided entanglement in global crises where possible and focused on domestic affairs, now finds himself in the midst of the most dangerous East-West standoff since the end of the Cold War.

Feb 12, 2014

In Ukraine standoff, echoes of U.S.-Russia Cold War tensions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Ukraine last July, U.S. diplomats got a private recap of the message he delivered behind closed doors to the country’s leaders. Ukraine, Putin warned, would not be allowed to stray from Moscow’s orbit.

Putin’s blunt talk was an unexpected sign of how hard Moscow would fight Western influence on Ukraine, U.S. officials say, prompting Washington and European capitals to step up their engagement with Ukrainian government and opposition forces.

Feb 12, 2014

Insight: In Ukraine standoff, echoes of U.S.-Russia Cold War tensions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Ukraine last July, U.S. diplomats got a private recap of the message he delivered behind closed doors to the country’s leaders. Ukraine, Putin warned, would not be allowed to stray from Moscow’s orbit.

Putin’s blunt talk was an unexpected sign of how hard Moscow would fight Western influence on Ukraine, U.S. officials say, prompting Washington and European capitals to step up their engagement with Ukrainian government and opposition forces.

Feb 4, 2014

Chemical weapons deal strengthened Assad: U.S. intel chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Last year’s agreement to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons left President Bashar al-Assad in a strengthened position, and there appears little chance rebels will soon force him from power, the U.S. intelligence chief told Congress on Tuesday.

“The prospects are right now that (Assad) is actually in a strengthened position than when we discussed this last year, by virtue of his agreement to remove the chemical weapons, as slow as that process has been,” said James Clapper, director of national intelligence.