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Trump Scrambles To Take Tough Stance On Russia Over Crimea

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In an apparent eleventh-hour attempt to head off a scandal over secret talks with Russian officials that have led to the resignation of his national security advisor, Donald Trump today accused Russia of taking Crimea by force, using Twitter as his medium.

Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia,” Trump tweeted.

Trump is now under pressure to demonstrate a tougher stance against Russia.

Russia has said it will never return Crimea to Ukraine, noting that in a 2014 referendum, a majority of Crimeans voted to become part of Russia. The Ukrainian perspective is that Russian troops illegally annexed the peninsula, and the referendum was a fraud.

We don’t give back our own territory. Crimea is territory belonging to the Russian Federation,” Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, told a news briefing on Wednesday.

In what sounded more like a warning, Russian Senator Oleg Morozov told RIA Novosti Wednesday that “One should not create an impassable barrier that Russia will not accept. Russia's rejection of its sovereignty over the Crimea cannot be seriously considered."

Another Russian official suggested that Moscow was not taking the statements seriously.

Viktor Ozerov, head of the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, told Russian media that the recent White House statements about Crimea were likely intended to “mute” the discontent of the American establishment with Trump because of his alleged pro-Russian stance.

The harsh words for Russia on Crimea began on Tuesday, as US National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigned over his failure to disclose secrets talks with a Russian diplomat, which were wiretapped by U.S. intelligence services and leaked to the media, sparking an intensifying national security controversy and the beginnings of a war between the White House and the intelligence services.

Related: Russia Sanctions Scandal Only Begins With Flynn’s Resignation

The statements also come as Russia is becoming emboldened in the Black Sea, offshore Crimea. Earlier this month, a Ukrainian military plane made two low passes over Russian oil rigs in the Black Sea, with Russia calling the incident a clear provocation, and Ukraine claiming that its aircraft was fired on. The Russian oil rigs are in the Odessa gas fields, where Russia hijacked two drilling rigs in Ukrainian waters in December 2015, claiming them as part of the new Russian Crimea.

By Damir Kaletovic for Oilprice.com

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  • Todd Elliott Koger on February 15 2017 said:
    You have the honor of working for the president. The job is a “policy geek’s” dream, to help the president move the country to a better place. You work in the most powerful building in the world. Stop being so dilettante, you have President Trump out here doing and saying just about anything without little thought to the responsibility bestowed on him. He relies heavily on the information and advice you provide to set the agenda, formulate policy, persuade legislators, brief the press, meet with diplomats, and monitor national security threats.

    Your responsibility is to make the President an energizing force. You have to consider things from every angle, taking into consideration practical as well as political consequences.

    Your job is to make the president look better than the other guy. Your job is to use any means possible to control a particular circumstances or event. The president must always appear trustworthy, honest, responsible, and moral.

    There are many of us who run from a meeting about one topic to another meeting on a completely different topic, having first had a hallway conversation about one of the dozen emails involving 10 or more other possible issues just to track what documents make it to our boss and are compiled in his or her daily briefing binder. Stop shaming the president with your deficiencies.

    I know three or four unemployed black boys and girls in the hood here in Pittsburgh who could turn things around overnight for Mr. Trump. Did you forget? It was Todd Elliott Koger’s plan to target the black vote and foundation of the Democratic Party’s “voter’s turnout model” that put him in office!!!

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