Vladimir Putin instructed the Government to continue contacts with partners in Kiev on developing Russian-Ukrainian trade and economic ties.
Mr Putin also gave the instruction to hold consultations with foreign partners, including the IMF and the G8 countries, on organising financial assistance for Ukraine.
Also, following an appeal from Crimean regional authorities for humanitarian aid, Mr Putin instructed the Government to examine this matter, including possibilities for the Russian regions to provide assistance.It is an "all options are on the table" statement which, while holding open the possibility of negotiations with the putsch government in Kiev, reserves the right to intervene in the Crimea, based on the preferred Western rationale for the use of force, "humanitarian aid."
The vaunted multi-dimensional chessmaster Obama is feeling queasy about now. His poll numbers are steadily heading south. The politician who successfully sold himself as an agent of hope and change will very shortly find his approval ratings in the thirty-percent range, a purgatory from which there is no return. The Democratic rank and file are deserting him. No small number of these deserters are motivated primarily by the Nobel Peace Prize winner's covert war against Syria, and now, his backing of a fascist putsch in Ukraine.
It is with this in mind that Obama steps into the ring with Putin, a leader who has bested him toe-to-toe in the last two "title fights" -- Edward Snowden and the response to the Ghouta sarin attack. Granted, a well-orchestrated information war (which clearly illustrated the totalitarian nature of the Western corporate media), adversely affected the Sochi Winter Olympics. But the games, despite some warm weather, received high marks. Now it is once again Vlad's time to shine.
And that is what is important to realize here. Time is on Russia's side. Once the putsch parliament accepts the IMF austerity mandates any tenuous grasp on power will quickly come undone. That's why the latest news, weapon-toting men in fatigues without insignia stationed in front of two airports in the Crimea following a move by the pro-Russian parliament in the Crimean capital of Simferopol to pursue greater autonomy from Kiev, might bring events to a climax faster than Putin would prefer.
The putschists are freaking out. This from Andrew Higgins and Patrick Reevell, "Armed Men Take Position at Two Airports in Crimea":
“Tension is building,” Mr. Avakov [putsch interior minister] wrote on Facebook, adding: “I regard what is happening as an armed invasion and occupation in violation of all international treaties and norms. This is a direct provoking of armed bloodshed on the territory of a sovereign state.”
Igor K. Tresilaty, who identified himself as assistant to the general director at the international airport, said Friday that the soldiers were remaining in common areas outside the airport, in the restaurant and in parking lots.
He added that he did not know who they were and expressed no curiosity about them, saying only that they looked professional.
“They’re walking around, but we, nor the police, can’t have any complaint against them because they’re not violating anything, they’re not touching anyone,” Mr. Tresilaty said.
He said that some of the soldiers had tried to occupy the working areas of the airport overnight but that the authorities there had not allowed it.
When a reporter suggested removing the soldiers, he invited journalists to attempt ejecting them if they felt up to the task. He said the airport was functioning normally, with no delays or cancellations.
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which is based in Crimea, denied that its forces were involved in the deployment at one of the airports. But the national Parliament in Kiev issued an appeal for Russia to “stop moves that show signs of undermining national sovereignty” in Ukraine, Reuters reported, and it urged the United States and Britain to honor commitments made in the early 1990s to protect the country’s territorial integrity.
Parliament also called on the United Nations Security Council to debate the issue, apparently seeking to broaden the dispute.This reaction for a few guys with guns in front of a couple of airports? Compared to what happened in Kiev since last November, the violent occupation of many government buildings by well-armed Banderists? Really? It makes Yanukovych look fearless in comparison.
This moaning for "big daddy" Uncle Sam and his poodle Tommy shows that the putschists don't command popular support to prevent a Russian-speaking region from going its own way. That's important because there is no lever, popular or otherwise, for the West to intervene.