— Israel News (@IsraelNewsNow) February 28, 2014
And the story:
Kerry warns Russia against intervention in Ukraine
Top US diplomat receives reassurances from his Russian counterpart while Kiev accuses Moscow of a ‘military invasion’
By Matthew Lee February 28, 2014, 7:48 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration expressed growing concern Friday over Russian intentions in Ukraine, with Secretary of State John Kerry delivering a blunt warning to Moscow against military moves in the country’s southern Crimea region that could further inflame tensions.
As pro-Russia gunmen patrolled Crimean streets in armored vehicles and took over airports there, Kerry said he called Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for the second time in two days to press the Kremlin to hold to its promise to respect the former Soviet republic’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Kerry told reporters that Lavrov had once again repeated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s pledge to do just that, while also pointing out that Russia has broad interests in the former Soviet republic, including a major naval base in Crimea. But Kerry, in comments that highlighted Washington’s rising suspicion of Moscow, said the US is watching to see if Russian activity in Crimea “might be crossing a line in any way.” He added that the administration would be “very careful” in making judgments about that.
“While we were told that they are not engaging in any violation of the sovereignty and do not intend to, I nevertheless made it clear that could be misinterpreted at this moment,” Kerry said. “There are enough tensions that it is important for everybody to be extremely careful not to inflame the situation and not send the wrong messages.”
More at the link.
Let’s be very clear here: if Vladimir Putin decides to invade and conquer the Ukraine, perhaps setting up deposed President Viktor Yanukovych as his puppet, the United States, and NATO, and everybody else, will bluster and fuss and stamp their feet, but won’t actually do anything about it. Russia is the largest oil, gas, uranium and coal exporter to the European Union, and the second and third largest producer of natural gas and oil in the world, respectively. Russia’s economy depends upon those vast hydrocarbon exports, but could probably stand the loss of that income for longer than the Europeans could tolerate a cut off of their supplies.
So, if Vladimir Putin wants to flex his muscles, he can, and nobody can, or would even try, to stop him.