Russia Faces Increased Tensions With the West After Sending Troops Into Crimea

President Obama comments about the situation in Ukraine during an event with the Israeli prime minster.
3:00 | 03/03/14

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Transcript for Russia Faces Increased Tensions With the West After Sending Troops Into Crimea
This is a special room. This is the ultimate result about feckless foreign policy where nobody. He believes in America's strength. Senator John McCain slamming president of politics the current situation in Crimea at the American Israel public affairs committees. Annual conference. This as the president meets with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. House. Good afternoon everyone down Cutler -- New York the CBC news digital special report President Obama -- strong words. About Russia's Vladimir prudent and tightening his grip on Crimea. The president's remarks with Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu by his side coming in as the possibility of armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Now hang in the balance pro Russian groups now controlling crime is parliament demanded -- that the local government admit formally. -- the power shift in Kiev the capital was in illegal coup of the demonstration of just how strong Russian influence. It is in that region. So let's go to the president the White House. We're. We're. President making his remarks there will get the full transcript and the -- tape in just about the first. I want to go. To ABC's Mary Bruce was outside the White House for more on the president and the tension that's brewing in Crimea there -- what has been the latest -- from the from the White House. Good afternoon -- we'll look there is no question that this is absolutely one of if not the biggest foreign policy challenge that a President Obama has faced so far in office. We have heard ever since -- and when the president first came out. And said that there will -- -- if Russia were to go ahead and intervene militarily in Ukraine of course less than 24 hours later they had invaded occupying the Crimean peninsula as they do now. And since then the president has been having lots of conversations with others Russian counterpart knowing how to -- hour and a half long conversation President -- over the weekend. Warning him urging him to withdraw his forces. And saying that he risks to global isolation but so far all we've been hearing from this administration is a lot of threats a lot of words the question now of course is how this administration will respond and what actions they will take going forward -- -- at the White House is actually more worried about pro Ukrainian forces escalated -- violence rather than Russia. But there were some concerns coming from administration officials earlier today that that the real worry in the Crimean peninsula right now may -- actually with pro Ukrainian civilians there. Provoking some of the Russian troops that are there that that might actually. Outgoing incites violence so far we haven't seen any -- that there are also -- reports earlier today that Russia may have issued an ultimatum of sorts saying that the Ukraine had to essentially surrender the Crimean peninsula -- there would be a massive assault coming in the next few days those reports. Don't seem to be -- simply have more -- -- opened it to get the ukrainians act first to take some sense steps towards violence first but if those reports were true the State Department -- earlier today that would be a dangerous escalation of the situation. Everything there in the crying infants and of course remains. On hair trigger it and now they're we have about thirty seconds until we're able to get that tape turned around and and we can -- the what the president said -- just very briefly that. The situation Crimea has that overshadowed the prime minister's visit at the White House. It certainly is interesting timing of course the president was hoping to focus these conversations. On on the situation in Iran and ongoing efforts by his administration to advance the peace talks. Of course this is being overshadowed nabbed by the situation in the Ukraine the president commenting on it here at the end of the Oval Office meeting with the prime minister when he -- -- was asked a question directly about the US response to the situation. And as we remain -- mean that we do you have that response that the president had made just a short time ago at that meeting with the prime minister. -- Is -- mean against Russia for their -- visit to Ukraine don't seem to be having much of an effect. What leverage do you believe you have for President -- at this point and is the US concerned primarily about getting Russian forces out of Crimea or are you also concerned about Russian forces -- Parts of eastern Ukraine. All of -- We didn't. Talking to. Reduce costs and and world news Martin reignite. Recognizing that the steps -- -- Violation. Breaks out. Ukraine's territorial integrity. Of their violation of international law that are no violation. Previous agreements -- Russia has made. -- respect -- how old -- -- perspectives neighbors. I had as a consequence we've got strong statements from -- from -- -- Condemning. The actions of Russia's state. And we're gonna continue these diplomatic efforts during the course of this week. -- Christmas day of the Ukrainian people -- determined. -- -- -- Russia has strong historic ties to the -- There are -- Russian national who -- regret. As -- native Russians. As there are a lot of the -- What. Small -- in those countries. And so all of those efforts. Can't you let him. But. What. Is for -- With impunity to. -- -- -- on the violate basic -- -- Are recognized around the world and I think the strong condemnation has received from countries around the world indicates. We wish commercials on the wrong side of history on this. We are -- supporter of -- Ukrainian government. John Kerry is going to be traveling. Indicate our support for the Ukrainian people. -- -- very specific and concrete. -- think -- stabilizing the economy. And it's. This crisis. What we are all -- indicating. To the Russians is that. Isn't that they continue along that her future. That we are examining a whole series of steps. Economic and diplomatic. That won't like slaves brought. And we'll and negative impact -- Economy and its stance in the world we've spent. Operations for the G-8 summit if you expect relief for all -- that we're -- a whole range. Doctor mentioned yesterday. Yeah plus -- right. And question or. -- Russian government generally is. Get fast. Her concern -- -- -- Yeah. -- and some business news. -- -- -- Anyway harbor or abuse or discriminate against. We should hear what was special offers and international effort. The -- first parts. You'll. Friends. To the United States and -- We should be obvious choice is -- its own business we're running about how that life under the auspices. -- CE were some over and national. The organization job. -- And so there really 2000. Russians it was one. Obviously. The facts on the ground. Are deeply troubling. Russia's. More -- -- -- -- -- -- Time this will be costly proposition -- -- Now outside vendors consider whether they can sort of areas. -- because. As opposed force. -- -- -- Murillo told congress. -- it is rhetoric and his work with the administration. To hell -- this is to your prayers and and women you. Weather clears I would hope that would be. First world business. Us at this -- there should be unanimity among Democrats. That is. What comes to. Preserving the question. Sending troops to another country. Comparable. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- get congress. To work with us. Your future and. So the president making those remarks alongside -- -- Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu just a couple of moments ago. The neighbors outside the White House there and married the president's remarks were fairly -- but there were really no specifics were given what the consequences might be in fact Russia Russia. Doesn't cooperate is -- much the president can do beyond the words that he just expressed. Exactly we're still in this stage for the administration is sort of speculating discussing the options that they happen of course. The president is at risk of looking weak if he continues to go out there and discussed apostle options to threaten taking some action and doesn't back it up. By following through now. That his administration continues to say that all options remain on the table that doesn't necessarily mean that there are good options. One thing that we know that is definitely being ruled out is any US military action that's not something they're looking at which means they're mostly considering our economic actions. Sanctions are the president mentioned the possibility of banning these as freezing assets in Russia these kinds of things that the international community and congress can get on board -- -- rally around to try and pressure Clinton to protect trying to influence and to go ahead and withdraw some of those troops. But of course all of those things come as the president mentioned as the G-8 active group of eight -- those on the largest global economies are expected to be gathering -- supposed to gather. In June in Sochi. All of the bank the global leaders except Russia of course -- now halted planning for that it's also possible that they can go ahead and turn the gravity back to the group of seven. And essentially push -- -- -- Russia from the group but beyond considering these things we haven't seen any action yet just more speculation and and stocks and pondering what they could possibly go ahead and do and that's what we heard more from the president -- Going back to some of the domestic reaction of Republicans in congress. Not exactly pleased with the president's efforts so far in this situation again I want to play a bit of what John McCain Senator John McCain said. The present United States believes that the Cold -- -- over that's fine it is over but potent -- believe it's over. He doesn't believe that the year that this is a zero sum game look at Moldova look at the occupation of -- look at the pressure on the Baltic nations but. And what they're doing in assisting -- for a shot slaughter tens of thousands of innocent people. Cities and towns and countryside all over Syria it is an outrage. Does that in fact -- and accurate portrayal that the White House is going to be able to defend or counter. We'll look -- the important thing here to notice the -- you may be hearing some push back from Republicans up on Capitol Hill. There there -- some agreement here in the sense that no one wants to be going to war with the nuclear armed Russia and no one up on Capitol Hill is necessarily putting forth any different ideas beyond what is coming out of the administration here. And so yes -- this. -- the president does -- imagined risk looking weak if they don't go ahead and take action to back up some of these threats that they are making. Everyone it seems to be generally in agreement here in Washington what the options are going forward now it's simply a matter of what action they go ahead and take and of course to add to that we heard the president urged lawmakers -- on the hill to join together to try to put together a package. To not just trying to hurt that the Russians and the pressure on them but also to go ahead and held the new Ukrainian government what. How Republicans put forward any kind of a solution that's it that's different or some kind of variation to what the president -- -- put out. Not yet all we're hearing some of these same economic ideas to try and put pressure on the Russian sanctions we -- things like that. They can try and hurt. President Clinton to keep in mind President Clinton is very well aware of what he's doing or he's very good at playing the diplomatic chess game and I highly doubt that he was unaware of what he was risking. In terms of his global position in the world when he went ahead and sent troops into the Crimean peninsula. Now secretary of state John Kerry met with -- -- and prime minister today Moldova -- -- is is Ukraine's nearest neighbor to the west. And here's secretary -- discussing those two countries. Russia. And some of the challenges we're seeing right now in Ukraine has put pressure on Moldova. There are challenges -- respect to their energy sources. And also their ability to traded. But we are committed it firmly to. Direction that mongols have chosen for themselves the government has expressed a desire pursuit. We will also obviously talk about the neighborhood the region. There near neighbor Ukraine the events that are unfolding there. So I look forward. A very constructive conversation. A timely one as I depart this evening for -- And so it. John Kerry is off to Kiev for tonight. You know put into context how important those countries like Moldova Poland -- all western allies and right. Russia's next door neighbors. Absolutely had this administration considers its options goes through what -- can do to try and take action you're one of the most important thing is to rally international support to get all of the western allies on board -- -- there's a united front. When this administration decides to take action that has the backing. Of its global partners so that everyone can present a united front. When they go to try -- put pressure on the Russians what what else then as the prime minister of Israel and meeting with the president what else is on the agenda for today. -- the intended agenda before everything was overshadowed by this crisis in Ukraine but intended to try and and put aside -- the Israeli's concerns about the diplomatic negotiations that this administration has underway with Iran that is something and prime minister Netanyahu is. It's extremely skeptical -- the president trying to get him on board with that and then of course trying to make some headway. On the Middle East peace talks meeting today with prime minister Netanyahu comes just two weeks before president bottles sit down here at the white house with the Palestinian president as he tries to make some headway but what is another major foreign policy goal of his his remaining time. The growing tension in Crimea overshadowing today's visit to the White House ABC's -- Bruce outside -- the White House force Mary thank you for that we appreciate it. We have a complete recap right here on abcnews.com for now on down at their New York. With this ABC news digital special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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