Saturday, September 06, 2014

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Readout of President Obama’s Call with President Putin | The White House

Readout of President Obama’s Call with President Putin | The White House

President Obama spoke for 90 minutes this afternoon with President Putin of Russia about the situation in Ukraine. President Obama expressed his deep concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law, including Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, and of its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and which is inconsistent with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and the Helsinki Final Act. The United States condemns Russia’s military intervention into Ukrainian territory.

President Barack Obama discusses Ukraine during a meeting with
members of his National Security Staff in the Oval Office,
 Feb. 28, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The United States calls on Russia to de-escalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine. We have consistently said that we recognize Russia’s deep historic and cultural ties to Ukraine and the need to protect the rights of ethnic Russian and minority populations within Ukraine.  The Ukrainian government has made clear its commitment to protect the rights of all Ukrainians and to abide by Ukraine’s international commitments, and we will continue to urge them to do so.

President Obama told President Putin that, if Russia has concerns about the treatment of ethnic Russian and minority populations in Ukraine, the appropriate way to address them is peacefully through direct engagement with the government of Ukraine and through the dispatch of international observers under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).  As a member of both organizations, Russia would be able to participate. President Obama urged an immediate effort to initiate a dialogue between Russia and the Ukrainian government, with international facilitation, as appropriate. The United States is prepared to participate.

President Obama made clear that Russia’s continued violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would negatively impact Russia’s standing in the international community. In the coming hours and days, the United States will urgently consult with allies and partners in the UN Security Council, the North Atlantic Council, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and with the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum. The United States will suspend upcoming participation in preparatory meetings for the G-8. Going forward, Russia’s continued violation of international law will lead to greater political and economic isolation.

The people of Ukraine have the right to determine their own future. President Obama has directed his Administration to continue working urgently with international partners to provide support for the Ukrainian government, including urgent technical and financial assistance. Going forward, we will continue consulting closely with allies and partners, the Ukrainian government and the International Monetary Fund, to provide the new government with significant assistance to secure financial stability, to support needed reforms, to allow Ukraine to conduct successful elections, and to support Ukraine as it pursues a democratic future.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Obama aims to leave a mark in talks with young black men

Obama aims to leave a mark in talks with young black men

Pres. Obama speaks with "Becoming a Man" participants this month. The president will, "launch a significant new effort this week to bolster the lives of young men of color seeking to use the power of the presidency to help a group of Americans whose lives are disproportionately affected by poverty and prison," according to a Washington Post article.

Pres. Obama mentions the program during the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast:

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

President Obama Speaks at the National Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela (one heck of a eulogy)

32:56 There is a word in South African "Ubuntu" we are bound in ways invisible to the eye, a oneness in humanity and we achieve ourselves by sharing ourselves with others and caring about others around us. 

32:37 He changed laws but he also changed hearts.

 33:30 We know that like South Africa, the United States had to overcome centuries of racial subjugation. As was true here, it took sacrifice of countess people those known and unknown, to see the dawn of a new day. Michelle and I are beneficiaries of that struggle. But in American and in South Africa and in countries all over globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not yet done. The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality or universal franchise may not be filled with drama and moral clarity as ones that came before but they are no less important. (I read this as: Our problems are not as bad as times past but it is still pretty bad upon a closer, truthful juxtaposition of the current-day Negroid/Caucasoid relationship). We too must act on behalf of justice and peace.

35:16 There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba's legacy of racial reconciliation but passionately resist even modest reforms that will challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba's struggle with freedom but do not tolerate decent from their own people. And, there are too many of us on the sidelines comfortable in complacency or cynicism but our voices must be heard.