Get PJ Media on your Apple

White House Takes Credit for Ukraine Deal

"Almost every time the vice president was calling, it was a moment of decisive choice for President Yanukovych," an administration official said of Biden's nine calls since November.

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

February 21, 2014 - 4:12 pm
<- Prev  Page 2 of 2   View as Single Page

The White House handed off the crisis to Vice President Joe Biden some time ago, with the last discussion released by the press office between President Obama and Yanukovych happening on March 27, 2012.

Biden called Yanukovych on Thursday to make “clear that the United States is prepared to sanction those officials responsible for the violence.”

“The Vice President urged President Yanukovych to take immediate and tangible steps to work with the opposition on a path forward that addresses the legitimate aspirations of the Ukrainian people,” the White House said. It was Biden’s ninth call to Yanukovych since November. “Almost every time the vice president was calling, it was a moment of decisive choice for President Yanukovych,” an administration official said today.

Blinken told MSNBC today, though, that Obama “has been deeply involved guiding this every single day” — or deeply involved in instructing his underlings to make it go away.

“He told us, his senior leadership team, to do everything we could to figure out a way to defuse the crisis and figure out a way forward for Ukraine. And that’s what we’ve done under his instructions. We’ve reported to him every day over the last couple of weeks on the situation in Ukraine and gotten direction from him,” Blinken said. “He spoke at length to Angela Merkel yesterday. He’ll be speaking to President Putin in the hours ahead. And we’ve had Vice President Biden deeply engaged with President Yanukovych. And we’ve also had senior leaders throughout the administration working with the opposition, working with the Europeans. This has been a very tightly and closely coordinated effort directed by the president.”

And Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel finally got his Ukrainian counterpart on the phone today.

Ukrainian Minister of Defense Pavlo Lebedev “assured the secretary that the Ukrainian armed forces remain the protectors of the Ukrainian people, that their deployment inside the country has been focused on protecting defense facilities and equipment, and that his forces would not use arms against the Ukrainian people,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said this evening.

“Secretary Hagel said he was encouraged by the recent news that the Ukrainian government and the opposition leadership had reached an agreement on how to move forward without further violence. He commended the government’s decision to keep the military on the sidelines of the crisis thus far and urged continued restraint.”

A senior State Department official told reporters on background today that the U.S. was “very active diplomatically over the last two days.” Deputy Secretary Bill Burns will visit Kiev early next week.

“More broadly, I think we’ve been able to have an impact at key moments throughout this. As I said, nine calls at key moments by the vice president to Yanukovych, but also, very strong intersections at key moments by Secretary Kerry, including, you’ll remember, the night that Yanukovych moved his forces the first time against the Maidan, which was the night of Dec.10, and Secretary Kerry was the first to come out and call it a disgusting move,” the official said.

“It sort of shocked the system in the Ukraine, brought people into the Maidan and helped people, you know, end — avoid further bloodshed that night. Then, you remember when the black laws were passed, which closed on Jan. 16, which closed space for political opposition. Kerry again came out the next day and made clear that these were absolutely unacceptable and had to be repealed. One of the first public statements that this had to end, even before the street turned to violent. And then again his work with the opposition throughout this period in Munich since then, and again, today.”

John Kerry hopped on the phone today for a call with opposition leaders. Klitschko was invited to the call, but stayed out in the Maidan with protesters instead.

<- Prev  Page 2 of 2   View as Single Page
Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
This administration is so bad on foreign policy, I doubt that they could sell toilet paper to the people of Venezuela.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama told them if they didn't make peace he was going over there to give a speech.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes - and it doesn't surprise me that the Obama admin is taking credit.

When global cooling is a realization Obama will be taking credit for that too.

Putin has his hands tied for now - he didn't want to roll the tanks into Ukraine while the Olympics were still center stage - Obama had absolutely nothing to do with this agreement. Lets hope it holds - and Obama stays as involved as he was prior. We don't need things to heat up once again.

The question is - what will Putin do? I can't imagine him easing his grasp of Ukraine so easily when it was oh so close to being his.



(show less)
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
my roomate's sister-in-law makes $76 /hour on the laptop . She has been laid off for eight months but last month her payment was $21789 just working on the laptop for a few hours. try this ..... W­W­W.T­E­C­3­0.C­O­M
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
The U.S. should extend the deployments of those naval assets in the Black Sea. How about a port call in the Ukraine?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
“This, I don’t think would have happened without the coordinated efforts of the United States and Europe,” Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told CNN, claiming that the U.S. had “a lot” to do with the agreement."

Yeah, of course it did. Or, in the illustrious words of Victoria Nuland "F*#k the EU!"

Diplomacy at its finest.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
From the classified Administration manual:
(1) If something bad happens, blame Bush.
(2) If something good happens, take credit.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank God the Obama administration is here!!!!!!!!!!!

What would we all have done otherwise?????????
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
This miserable White House really twist and bend the truth all the time. You Americans, at least those of you who see clearly, don´t trust them, so why should we trust them with affairs going on over here ? Barry and his gay boys and girls have zero credibility. They are a bunch of lightweight PR and fluff people with loud voices. The agreement was negotiated with the discreet help of Germany and Poland. Frau Merkel, there you have a leader we Europeans trust. She is a lady who can deal with Putin. She has respect, something Barry absolutely lacks. Let´s just hope that this shaky agreement holds up.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"First of all, we have already issued some visa restrictions on those who were responsible for the violence and repression. " Then we told them we were going to do some other really mean things. Then they caved!

Another example of how stupid this administration thinks Americans are.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
They going to take credit for the war that follows, its coming.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The White House takes credit when we've spritzed weed-eater in our driveways and they magically disappeared by presidential edict. Yawn.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama and Biden are ignorant s-l-u-t-s.

OK, I just had to go a little nuge there.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All