In Europe, Obama warns of further sanctions should Russia expand its reach

 

McClatchy Washington Bureau

President Barack Obama dismissed Russia as a “regional power” and said he’s more worried about a nuclear bomb going off in Manhattan, even as he threatened more sweeping sanctions against the country should it expand its reach in Ukraine beyond Crimea.

Speaking at the close of a nuclear security summit in The Netherlands, Obama said the U.S. is concerned about “further encroachment” by Russia and that he believes more broad-based sanctions that would target “entire sectors of the Russian economy” would be appropriate, “should Russia go further.

“That would be a bad choice for President Putin to make,” Obama said. “But, ultimately, he's the president of Russia and he's the one who's gonna be making that decision. He just has to understand that there's a choice to be made here.”

Those sanctions could potentially include areas like energy, finance, arms sales or trade that exists between Europe and the United States and Russia, Obama said.

The reference to Russia came as Obama defended his foreign policy in the wake of questions from reporters who noted that his 2012 presidential rival, Mitt Romney, had declared Russia to be the U.S.’s biggest geopolitical foe.

But Obama dismissed Russia as a “regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength, but out of weakness.”

“The fact that Russia felt compelled to go in militarily and lay bear these violations of international law indicates less influence, not more,” he added.

He said he believes Russia’s actions are a “problem,” but don't pose the No. 1 national security threat to the United States.

“I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan, which is part of the reason why the United States, showing its continued international leadership, has organized a forum over the last several years that's been able to help eliminate that threat in a consistent way,” Obama said.

Read more Politics Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  • GOP's Baker unveils economic development plan

    Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker unveiled an economic development plan Wednesday that he said will create jobs, strengthen local communities and build better schools.

  • DC proposes concealed-carry licensing program

    District of Columbia officials say residents will be able to get licenses to carry concealed handguns outside the home, but only after they show a reason they need such a permit and complete extensive gun-safety training.

  • Yellen: Fed balance sheet to take years to shrink

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen says "it could take until the end of the decade" to shrink the Fed's record investment portfolio to more normal levels.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category