Now to the escalating war of words between president Obama and Vladimir Putin over Ukraine. Russia tightening its grip on the strategic region of crimea despite warnings from the white house. And Alex... See More
Now to the escalating war of words between president Obama and Vladimir Putin over Ukraine. Russia tightening its grip on the strategic region of crimea despite warnings from the white house. And Alex Marquardt is in crimea where in just days a critical vote will determine if the country splits apart. Good morning, Alex. Reporter: Good morning. These forces are part of a growing Russian presence in crimea this morning, tightening by the minute. Russia is denying the troops are theirs. On the move, large, un-marked convoys of troops believed to be Russian this weekend criss-crossing the crimean peninsula. The ukraine/crimea border said to be littered with land mines planted by pro-russian forces who have blocked international military monitors from entering crimea, even firing warning shots. In just ten days, seized crimea, border crossings, airports, government buildings and military bases. Just a handful still in Ukrainian control and surrounded. And diplomatic efforts going nowhere. President Obama and Putin talking past each other on an hour-long phone call. The U.S. Criticizing the vote next weekend to decide if crimea should break off and join Russia. Crimea is the Ukraine. We support the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Reporter: As crimea prepares for next Sunday's referendum, this mostly-russian region is showing where its aleelegiances lie. What kind of passport would you like? Russian. I hate Ukrainian. Reporter: As this mostly-russian region prepares for the referendum, there are a growing number of rallies for and against joining Russia. But that's far from universal. We visited a small individual of the historically persecuted Tatar community, now afraid of a Russian takeover. And even Russian supporters want to see Ukraine work out its own problems. There are some international laws, and we should follow them. But not with these Russian troops present here. We can do it ourselves. It's time for politicians, not just from the Ukraine and Russia, but the world to solve this. If you let Putin know to take crimea, then other parts of Ukraine. Who knows who's next. Reporter: But for now, a diplomatic solution is just a faint hope. Russia is refusing to talk with the Ukrainian government, calling them puppets of extremists. Instead, they are letting the troops do the talking for them. Thanks to Alex. Chairman Mike Rogers is back with us now. Chairman Rogers, if you will, take a bigger look. Look at the whole area of Ukraine and tell us why should Americans be concerned about what's going on there? Well, any instability in that region causes economic instability, and certainly will impact Europe. If it impacts Europe's economy it will impact the United States economy. When this first happened, there was a dip in our stock exchange, our markets. So I think they went down 154 points. So it has a direct relationship. We're no longer completely isolated by the two oceans around the United States. We're interconnected economically. We need to worry about the stability of a place like the Ukraine. And we need to worry about the continued advancement, for secession passes? Then what do we do? What does Europe do? I know the Ukrainian government has to be involved, they say it's illegal, we say it's illegal, but what happens next? It gets a little interesting. You'll have two sets of problems. On the diplomatic front, you'll have what does Europe do? Germany is so tied to the -- the Russian economy, both from energy and direct business connections back into Russia, you have some problems with sanctions and how that works out and how they can go forward without screwing up their own economy. Then you have this -- the notion of if they do that, now you have this different legal status. Some are charging that the Ukrainian overthrow in kiev was illegal, that's the Russian's perspective, which would allow them under their interpretation of the law to have a vote to secede -- the crimean peninsula -- to secede from the Ukraine. And Russia has already said in their parliament they would accept them. Now you have a whole new set of laws to unwind in order to see where we can go from an international perspective. Quickly, Mr. Chairman, I was there this week. Seems like it's going to go on for a long time. But you mentioned Vladimir Putin, what is going on with him? What is he trying to prove? What do we know about him? Domestically, not a lot going on. That's a problem. Scoring huge points on the foreign policy. That has bolstered his ability to try to be, you know, a little bit out of the box when he does something like put troops in the crimea. I think that's a bit of it. He wants to be back on the world stage, a world influence. If he has to do it through brute force, he's going to do it. That's his mentality. We shouldn't underestimate the things he will do that he thinks are in Russia's best interests. Up to date we thought I a different century, and the administration thought if we act nice, everyone will act nice with us. That's not way that Putin and the Russian Federation sees the rest of the world. Thank you for joining us this morning, Mr. Chairman.
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