Vice President Visits Ukraine: ‘You Will Not Walk This Road Alone’
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden headed to Kiev on Monday, and his arrival is a signal of many things. Firstly, it was a showing of support from the U.S. to Ukraine; secondly, it was a reminder to Russia that increased sanctions would result in further intimidation for the country both politically and militarily. The latter follows what were ultimately less than successful negotiations in Geneva last week between Russia, the U.S., the EU, and Ukraine.
Russia ultimately insisted that it was not to blame for the crisis in Ukraine, and that further sanctions would be useless. “Before giving us ultimatums, demanding that we fulfill demands within two or three days with the threat of sanctions, we would urgently call on our American partners to fully accept responsibility for those who they brought to power,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “Attempts to isolate Russia have absolutely no future, because isolating Russia from the rest of the world is impossible,” he said, according to The Christian Science Monitor, saying that Russia is “a big, independent power that knows what it wants.”
Ukraine is presently facing instability in the form of armed separatists in various cities, many of which are thought to be motivated by Russian insiders — something Russia firmly denies. “We have been very clear that we firmly believe that Russia has supported the so-called separatists in eastern Ukraine that have popped up with arms to seize buildings, to stockpile weapons, to erect roadblocks. And Russia needs to abide by the agreement signed in Geneva and to take steps to stabilize the situation,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney at a press briefing Monday.