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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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allengould987654321 March 21 2014 at 9:05 AM

Well due to all of this the Organization Teen Missions International had to cancel my mission trip over there for two months. Now I am going to the Dominican Republic.

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genegene002 March 21 2014 at 10:56 AM

Is there anyway to stop these ANNOYING ads from playing before the vid clip? I swear I'm about to pull out my eyeballs and swallow them If I see that Walgreens ad one more time!!!

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
summerctz genegene002 March 21 2014 at 11:19 AM

I know, right? And it;s always the same ads! Arrrgggg......

Flag Reply +2 rate up
john7736 March 21 2014 at 2:35 PM

This is an article that deals with the deception regarding Crimea and the Ukraine in which almost all media is complicit.

http://www.thenation.com/article/178344/distorting-russia#

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Iris March 21 2014 at 4:20 PM

Think Mr.Putin finally is acting like the adult he is
Thank you.
Now let's start helping your people instead of up routing them.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
dad0077 March 21 2014 at 12:43 PM

An IQ Test is for Pres. Obama, and/or Pres. Putin, to see who can learn English/Russian, and/or Russian/English. The second test is about the test of courage, for the world to realize and stop global terrorism.

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1 reply
jjj4041 dad0077 March 21 2014 at 1:20 PM

Hey Dad better check Putin is fluent in at least 5 languages

Flag Reply +1 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

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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...

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PAUL March 21 2014 at 11:57 AM

He is just waiting until we withdraw our troops thru Russia from Afghanistan.

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joeknowswoodies March 21 2014 at 9:24 AM

HP sucks

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vlddanny March 21 2014 at 9:51 AM

96% of the Ukranians do not want a democracy, but their government does. In the US 90% are fed up with our government and want to keep our democracy, but our government doesn't. So simply switch governments of the Ukraine and the US. Obama and Kerry should recommend it before Putin does.

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1 reply
rdclaw2000 vlddanny March 21 2014 at 9:59 AM

Russia is a Democracy, lol. They were asked for protection against us, and want to ceed into Russia by unanimous vote. This is a internal matter within Ukraine and those people have a God given right to pick any side they want....

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jebby1 March 21 2014 at 1:42 PM

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

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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?????

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