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Thread: What Is Happening In Ukraine Is Far More Important Than Most People Realize

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  1. #341
    Senior Member AirborneSapper7's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Putin Signs Crimean "Absorption" Law As Visa, MasterCard Halt Payment Services For Bank Rossiya

    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/21/2014 07:44 -0400

    Moments ago the "absorption" of Crimea into the Russian Federation was completed after Putin signed the final previously passed by parliament. And with that, in less than a month, the Crimean "question" has been answered. The only question is whether Putin will stop here or will the ease with which he just expanded the Russian political map leave him hungry for more.
    In other news, as part of the Western escalations against Russia, Bank Rossiya, the one bank exclusively identified in the sanctions list, announced that Visa and MasterCard have stopped, without notification, providing services for payment transactions for clients. Another bank that saw the drop of merchant credit card services was SMP bank, co-owned by brothers Boris and Arkady Rotenberg, who were also on the latest U.S. sanctions list.
    SMP bank said in a statement that it considered the credit card giants' move unlawful, because the U.S. sanctions targeted shareholders and not the bank itself, Reuters reported Friday.
    Earlier in the day, Bank Rossiya said it was working in a "stable regime" and was taking all the necessary legal measures to defend its rights and its clients' rights and legal interests.
    "In connection with the information about U.S. sanctions being imposed on Rossiya we can report that the bank is working in a stable regime. The bank is meeting and will, without a doubt, fully meet all its obligations to its clients and partners," the bank said in a statement.
    "The management of Rossiya understands the difficulties of clients in the current situation and will do all it can to solve them," the bank said in a statement.
    These moves in turn promptly led to Putin announcing that he wants to open an account with the Bank Rossiya. From Moscow Times:
    ďI don't have an account there, but I will certainly open one there on Monday,Ē Putin said Friday, while speaking at a Security Council meeting, Interfax reported.
    Putin later asked for his salary to be transferred to Bank Rossiya and ordered Russia's Central Bank to take the sanction-hit lender's clients under protection and provide all possible assistance to them, The Associated Press reported.
    U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday announced that Washington was levying a new round of sanctions affecting 20 Russian officials and businessmen, but also Bank Rossiya, which is chaired and part owned by businessman Yuri Kovalchuk, who is one of the 20.
    Why was the bank singled out?
    The United States Treasury Department stated that Bank Rossiya is used by senior Russian officials and that its shareholders include members of Putin's inner circle.
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  2. #342
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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  3. #343
    Senior Member HAPPY2BME's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    Obama says Ukraine crisis not 'a zero-sum game' as Russian forces overrun third Crimea base

    Published March 24,

    • March 23, 2014: President Barack Obama boards Air Force One before his departure from Andrews Air Force Base. Obama was traveling to the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, Netherlands, which will form the backdrop for an emergency meeting of Group of Seven leaders on Russia's annexation of Crimea. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    President Obama has told a Dutch newspaper that the United States does not see the ongoing crisis in Crimea and Ukraine as a "zero-sum game" between Washington and Moscow as pro-Russian forces reportedly overran a third Ukrainian military base in the Black Sea peninsula Monday.
    In the interview, published in Monday's edition of de Volkskrant, Obama said, "The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. Thatís the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War."
    The president went on to say, "The Ukrainian people do not have to choose between East and West. On the contrary, itís important that Ukraine have good relations with the United States, Russia, and Europe. As Iíve said, the future of Ukraine ought to be decided by the people of Ukraine."
    Obama also addressed the possibility of additional sanctions against Russia, saying "There have to be consequences," if the crisis continued to escalate. "And if Russia continues to escalate the situation," Obama continued, "we need to be prepared to impose a greater cost."
    This past Monday, Obama issued an executive order freezing the U.S. assets of seven Russian and four Ukrainian officials. On Friday, the European Union imposed sanctions against 12 members of Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle, including Russia's Deputy Prime Minister. In all, European leaders have hit 33 officials with asset freezes and visa bans.
    The White House provided an English translation of the interview as Obama began a six-day trip that will take him to The Hague, Rome, Vatican City, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The trip's European leg is expected to be dominated by discussion of the annexation of Crimea by Russia earlier this week.
    Also Monday, Ukrainian officials told the BBC that Russian troops had seized another Ukrainian military base. Defense Ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov claimed that the Russians attacked the naval base at Feodosia from two directions with the aid of automatic weapons and stun guns. Seleznyov also claimed that the Ukrainians were rounded up and the base's officers were bound by the invaders.
    The Defense Ministry told the Associated Press that up to 80 Ukrainians had been detained on-site, and two injured servicemen had been taken away by helicopter. A soldier at the base told Reuters that the installation had been taken over and confirmed that shots had been fired.
    The BBC reported that the Feodosia base had been surrounded by Russian forces for some time, but had remained one of the last bases under the control of the Kiev government.
    On Sunday, NATO's top military commander, Gen. Philip Breedlove, warned that Russia had built up a "very, very sizeable and very, very ready" force on its border with Ukraine. Breedlove added that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be considering moving against another region with a large ethnic Russian population: Transdniestria, in the former Soviet republic of Moldova.
    Transdniestria, which lies to the west of Ukraine, declared independence from Moldova in 1990, but it has not been recognized by any United Nations member state. Reuters reported that the speaker of Transdniestria's parliament has urged Russia to annex the region, as it did in Crimea.
    Also Sunday, deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken told CNN's "State of the Union" that Russia seemed to be trying intimidate Ukrainians by massing thousands of troops along the border. But Blinken also said "it's possible they are preparing to move in."
    Blinken said the U.S. was looking at providing military assistance to Ukraine. But he also said "it's very unlikely to change Russia's calculus and prevent an invasion."
    Russia's defense chief has told Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that Russia had no intention of crossing into Ukrainian territory.
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  4. #344
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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