- The Washington Times - Friday, March 21, 2014

White House officials said Friday that Russia’s ongoing military incursion into Ukraine has prompted a fundamental reassessment of the U.S. relationship with Moscow.

White House national security adviser Susan Rice told reporters that Russian President Vladimir Putin is moving his country backwards, erasing years of post-Cold War progress in just a few weeks.

“In the years since the ending of the Cold War, the U.S. and Europe and, indeed, the international community have proceeded along path where we’ve made clear our interest was in more fully integrating Russia, politically and economically, into Europe and indeed into the fabric of the international system and the global economy. But that was predicated on an expectation Russia would play by the rules of the road,” she said. “What we have seen in Ukraine is obviously a very egregious departure from that.”

Ms. Rice didn’t specify exactly how the relationship between Washington and Moscow will change over the long term. The White House said Russia still is cooperating on issues such as nuclear arms reductions and, thus far, Moscow remains a partner in the effort to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Still, the Ukrainian crisis has left Russia largely standing on its own in the world.

President Obama next week will travel to Europe and meet with other leaders in the resurgent Group of Seven — the U.S., Italy, the U.K., France, Japan, Canada and Germany. The G7 has, at least temporarily, replaced the Group of Eight, of which Russia was a member.

Russia hasn’t formally been kicked out of the exclusive organization, but Ms. Rice made clear Mr. Putin’s recent actions mean his nation is, for now, not welcome in the group.

“What will be clear for the entire world to see is that Russia is increasingly isolated and the U.S. is leading the international community in support of the government and the people of Ukraine, and imposing costs on Russia for its aggression against Ukraine,” she said.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide