Another day, another drawn out, pointless conversation between Obama and Putin, which will do nothing to prevent the imminent annexation of Crimea, whose people have voted and decided to join Russia.
From the White House:
President Obama spoke this afternoon with President Putin of Russia.
President Obama emphasized that the Crimean “referendum,” which violates the Ukrainian constitution and occurred under duress of Russian military intervention, would never be recognized by the United States and the international community.
He emphasized that Russia’s actions were in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that, in coordination with our European partners, we are prepared to impose additional costs on Russia for its actions.
President Obama underscored that there remains a clear path for resolving this crisis diplomatically, in a way that addresses the interests of both Russia and the people of Ukraine.
He noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take concrete steps that would allow for the de-escalation of the crisis, particularly as it prepares for elections this Spring and undertakes constitutional reform, and he asked that Russia support the immediate deployment of international monitors to help prevent acts of violence by any groups.
President Obama reiterated that a diplomatic resolution cannot be achieved while Russian military forces continue their incursions into Ukrainian territory and that the large-scale Russian military exercises on Ukraine’s borders only exacerbate the tension.
President Obama said that Secretary Kerry continues to be prepared to work together with Foreign Minister Lavrov and the Ukrainian government to find a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.
Photo of the president, with sleeves rolled up and a pained expression on his face to be released shortly. Meanwhile Putin's oblivious trampling of all Obama warnings, pleadings, threats, teleprompter readings and what not continues without a hitch.
Meanwhile, this is the Kremlin's take of the same conversation:
At the initiative of the American side Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama.
The topic of the continued discussion were the various aspects of the crisis in Ukraine. Putin drew attention to the inability and unwillingness of the current Kiev authorities to curb rampant ultra-nationalist and radical groups, destabilizing and terrorizing civilians, including Russian-speaking population and our compatriots.
In this context is being considered sending an OSCE monitoring mission to the Ukraine. According to the President of Russia, the activity of such a mission should be extended to all Ukrainian regions .
In connection with the referendum held in Crimea, Putin stressed that it is fully consistent with international law and the UN Charter and takes into account, in particular, the famous Kosovo precedent. At the same time the inhabitants of the peninsula were guaranteed the possibility of free will and self-determination.
The heads of state noted that, despite the differences in opinion the two should work together to seek ways to help stabilize the situation in Ukraine .
The U.S. President congratulated the President of Russia on the success of the Paralympic Winter Games and asked to convey greetings to the participants of the competition.