Obama Warns Russia Against Deeper Isolation

This week, the United States, Europe, and nations around the globe have condemn Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, rejected the illegal annexation of Crimea, booted Russia out of the G-8, downgraded bilateral ties, and imposed sanctions meant to impact the Russian economy. “And, if the Russian leadership stays on its current course, together we will ensure that this isolation deepens,” said President Barack Obama in a speech Wednesday in Brussels. “Sanctions will expand and the toll on Russia’s economy, as well as its standing in the world, will only increase.” However, Obama said, “this is not another Cold War,” because “unlike the Soviet Union, Russia leads no bloc of nations, no global ideology.” He said the US and NATO “do not seek any conflict with Russia. In fact, for more than 60 years, we have come together in NATO—not to claim other lands, but to keep nations free.” He emphasized that NATO will “never waver” and “will never stand alone” in its “obligation” to “uphold” and “defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our allies.” He countered Russian claims that the US is “somehow conspiring with fascists inside of Ukraine or failing to respect the Russian people,” saying such arguments are simply “absurd.” He said the American people have “an interest in a strong and responsible Russia, not a weak one.” However, Obama noted that does not mean “Russia can run roughshod over its neighbors.”