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Putin: No need for further retaliation against US

Putin Signs Crimea Annexe Treaty


MOSCOW (AP) -- There is no need for Russia to further retaliate against U.S. sanctions, President Vladimir Putin said Friday as Russia's upper house of parliament endorsed the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Moscow made its first retaliatory shot on Thursday by banning nine U.S. officials and lawmakers from entering Russia, but Putin indicated that Russia would likely refrain from curtailing cooperation in areas such as Afghanistan. Moscow appears to hope to limit the damage from the latest U.S. and EU sanctions and avoid further Western blows.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's prime minister pulled his nation closer into Europe's orbit by signing a political association agreement with the European Union at a summit of the bloc's leaders in Brussels.

U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered a second round of sanctions targeting about two dozen members of Putin's inner circle and a major bank supporting them.

Putin said in televised remarks at Friday's session of the presidential Security Council that he sees no immediate need for further Russian retaliation and said sardonically that he would open an account in the targeted bank.

Putin's statement appeared to signal to the West that Russia wants to maintain cooperation in other areas despite the tensions over Ukraine. He said that Russia will keep funding a program to service Afghan helicopters and train their crews that has been conducted jointly with NATO.

Russia is expected to play a major role in the planned withdrawal of U.S. and other NATO forces from Afghanistan later this year by providing transit corridors via its territory, and Putin's statement seems to indicate that the Kremlin at this stage has no intention to shut the route in response to U.S. and EU sanctions.

Russia's upper house of parliament voted unanimously Friday to incorporate Crimea, after Sunday's hastily called referendum in which residents of the Black Sea peninsula overwhelmingly backed breaking off from Ukraine and joining Russia. Ukraine and the West have rejected the vote, held two weeks after Russian troops had taken over Crimea.

The move, already approved by the lower house, is set to be completed later in the day with Putin's signature.

Meanwhile in Brussels, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and EU leaders signed an association agreement that was part of the pact that former President Viktor Yanukovych backed out of last November in favor of a $15 billion bailout from Russia. That decision sparked the protests that ultimately led to his downfall and flight last month, setting off one of Europe's worst political crises since the Cold War.

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Mike Corder in Brussels, Belgium, contributed to this report.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

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joeknowswoodies March 21 2014 at 9:24 AM

HP sucks

Flag Reply +3 rate up
bgr200 March 21 2014 at 2:03 PM

Putin would be fool to cut back on operations in Afghanistan . That would be like inviting the Talaban into Russia....... Our presence their is protecting Russia from the Talaban gaining in strength and exporting terrorism to Russia.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
john7736 bgr200 March 21 2014 at 2:27 PM

You do not remember that we used the fundamentalist against the secular government allied with Russia? How do you think the fundamentalist got control in the first place,

Flag Reply +1 rate up
lounjoanlunsford March 21 2014 at 3:52 PM

get the girls out.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
hardcoredeerhunter March 21 2014 at 1:51 PM

yep,why would Russia cut their helicopter training off with Nato & US forces.Free training to be able to retaliate from within. It's on and Nato & the US will fall for it. trusting a snake not to bit is like giving a Nuclear missle button to a 3 year old telling him not to push it.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
jebby1 March 21 2014 at 1:42 PM

Psst ..... he'll have more flexibility after the 2014 elections.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
2 replies
lxixwithu jebby1 March 21 2014 at 1:48 PM

That's because Obama already knows how to bend over and take it like a man.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
big dog jebby1 March 21 2014 at 1:59 PM

????? 2014?????

Flag Reply +1 rate up
frozenbull March 21 2014 at 1:38 PM

So it's a big game . You say this ,than I'll say that, then you say this and Ill say that ,this way we both look good and no harm no foul Such bullshit

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
amp81803 frozenbull March 21 2014 at 1:50 PM

No he just said he has got wht he wanted so there is no furher reason to torment.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Kim March 21 2014 at 1:25 PM

I would be worried too if I was Putin..... Obama cut off his Netflix !

Flag Reply +10 rate up
carp940 March 21 2014 at 11:55 AM

Sanctions on Vodka!! Mission Accomplished!!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Daniel Ahearn March 21 2014 at 4:12 PM

The move, already approved by the lower house, is set to be completed later in the day with Putin's signature.
Sounds like they had a choice . Putin ordered it and it was done

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
NoShark Daniel Ahearn March 21 2014 at 6:24 PM

Let's not go overboard. Nothing is done in either of these blowhards backyards which has not already been decided. Nonetheless, the show of voting took place. Butttttttttt out, big mouth.....this is not the editorship of the Harvard newspaper anymore...big leagues, big leagues...

Flag Reply 0 rate up
imatoolman March 21 2014 at 9:55 AM

Obama-o fiddled while the Kingdom Burned

Flag Reply +5 rate up
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