WASHINGTON — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia reached out to President Obama on Friday to discuss ideas about how to peacefully resolve the international standoff over Ukraine, a surprise move by Moscow to pull back from the brink of an escalated confrontation that has put Europe and much of the world on edge.
After weeks of provocative moves punctuated by a menacing buildup of troops on Ukraine’s border, Mr. Putin’s unexpected telephone call to Mr. Obama offered a hint of a possible settlement. The two leaders agreed to have their top diplomats meet to discuss concrete proposals for defusing the crisis that has generated the most serious clash between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.
Neither American nor European officials expect Mr. Putin to easily reverse his seizure of Crimea, the largely Russian-speaking Ukrainian peninsula Moscow annexed last week after Russian troops took control there. Indeed, the Kremlin statement made no mention of Crimea, suggesting Mr. Putin considers the matter a fait accompli that is no longer up for discussion. Analysts said the Russian leader may be seeking some sort of de facto acceptance of that new status quo in exchange for not sending troops massed on the border into eastern Ukraine.
Mr. Obama took the call from Mr. Putin at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, after finishing a two-hour dinner with King Abdullah to discuss Iran, Syria and other security issues. Amid intelligence reports warning of a further Russian incursion into Ukraine, American officials were trying to puzzle through the situation on Friday night, unsure what Mr. Putin was up to, but deeply suspicious.
“President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis,” the White House said in a statement. “President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
In its statement posted on its official website, the Kremlin said Mr. Putin “drew Barack Obama’s attention to continued rampage of extremists who are committing acts of intimidation towards peaceful residents, government authorities and law enforcement agencies in various regions and in Kiev with impunity.”
“In light of this,” it added, “the president of Russia suggested examining possible steps the global community can take to help stabilize the situation.”
Of course, the extremists (ultra right wing and nazis) have been supported by the west and have been made an offer of cash by the Americans...
Australia’s somewhat confused Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, performs, on a good day, as an office clerk of the U.S. State Department. Canberra press briefings on foreign policy tend to be plagiarised from U.S. precedents. At best, she articulates U.S. State Department policy via Australian channels — giving it an antipodean varnish with a supposedly Canberra gloss.
Canberra remains Washington’s generally reliable retainer — a clumsy, crude one, but a retainer none the less. It would not be too much of a stretch to say that Australia is to the U.S. what Ukraine is to Russia.
There are “common ties”, common interests and links so deep they stifle notions of independence. ASIO and ASIS, along with the Signals Directorate arm, are organic extensions of the global American surveillance system. Decisions are not decided in Canberra so much as rubber-stamped and repackaged for domestic consumption. Trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership suffer a similar fate; Australian trade delegates prefer the pathway of least resistance, embracing provisions modelled on U.S. copyright law — even regulations rejected by the U.S. Congress.
There is also the Eurasian strategic dimension worth considering, the analogue which can be found in Australian-U.S. ties.
For Russia, as Alexey Muraviev of Curtin University has explained, Ukraine will not be allowed to fall into a NATO orbit:
'Russia wants to see, if not a friendly, then at least a neutral and pragmatic regime in Kiev, which wouldn’t seek political and military integration with Western Europe and the U.S. at Russia’s expense.'
Read more: http://www.independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/plagiarising-foreign-policy-australia-ukraine-russia-and-sanctions,6364
The first contingent of US troops has landed in Poland for military exercises amid tensions with Russia over Ukraine.
An initial 150 soldiers are to be followed by a further 450 within days.
US President Barack Obama has warned Russia it faces new sanctions if it refuses to implement an agreement to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine.
Reports are coming in of violent incidents overnight between pro-Russian militants and Ukrainian forces in Mariupol and Artemivsk.
Meanwhile the US attack the Russia for moving troops WITHIN ITS OWN TERRITORY!
A live beef cattle exporter shipping a record number of Australian steers to Russia says the "world's eyes" are on the company to perform.
Livestock Shipping Services (LLS) has sent two ships with a consignment of 32,000 Angus steers worth an estimated $40 million on a 23-day voyage to the Black Sea.
It is the largest live export contract for southern Australian cattle and could mark the opening of a new market.
"(This) is great news for southern producers and Angus breeders of Australia," LSS export manager Paul Keenan told Landline as the cattle were being loaded at Port Adelaide.
"We're in negotiations for further contracts.
"Russia most probably is looking at becoming Australia's second biggest market for feeder cattle - we're looking at 50,000 to 100,000 cattle a year."
Mr Keenan says this is the first shipment of feeder cattle to Europe under the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS), which makes the exporter responsible for animal welfare up to and including the point of slaughter.
"The world's eyes are on us to perform and I believe we are up to the challenge and we're looking forward to having a very successful voyage," he said.
"It's part of doing business as an exporter.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — President Barack Obama says the United States plans to increase its military presence in Europe by sending in more American troops.
Obama is speaking at a joint news conference in Warsaw with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski. Obama says his new initiative will involve prepositioning more U.S. military equipment in Europe as well.
Obama says he's calling on Congress to provide up to $1 billion to support the effort.
The move aims to ease anxiety among NATO allies wary of Russia's threatening moves in Ukraine. Obama says the U.S. has a duty under NATO to protect its allies.
Komorowski says Poland plans to increase its budget for its armed forces up to 2 percent of its gross domestic product. He says it's a tangible, clear sign of engagement.
read more: http://www.ctpost.com/news/politics/article/Obama-asks-for-1B-to-boost-US-military-in-Europe-5524235.php
Like the rest of Europe, Poland is completely broke by Australian standards... Australia is on top of the world, but our turdy PM — an impostor about to visit REAL world leaders — is trying hard to dismantle Australia's bliss.
Dear world leaders, do not trust A SINGLE word from Tony Abbott, PM of Australia. He lies with more dexterity than you do.
See toon at top.
A Russian fighter jet intercepted an American reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the Pacific in late April, prompting top officials to complain to senior Russian military officials, a Pentagon spokesman said Tuesday.
Army Col. Steve Warren, the spokesman, said the Russian Su-27 fighter flew across the nose of the U.S. Air Force RC-135U aircraft, coming within about 100 feet, while in international airspace over the Sea of Okhotsk.
Warren said the U.S. plane did not take any evasive measures. The Russian pilot maneuvered his jet in a way that exposed its belly to the American crew, he said, apparently as a way of showing that it was armed. Warren said there was no radio communication between the two planes' crews.
He said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, both raised the matter later with their Russian counterparts.
Warren said he could not explain why the incident, which happened April 23, was not made public earlier. It is the latest source of concern for U.S. officials since a heightening of U.S.-Russian tensions following Moscow's intervention in Ukraine. In mid-April a Russian Su-24 fighter made low-level passes over a U.S. Navy ship in the Black Sea.
read more: http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2023756690_apxunitedstatesrussiaintercept.html
Gus believes that had it been a Russian plane over international waters near Cuba, the US would have attempted to diverted it first, then shoot it down...
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