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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.

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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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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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ncord24634 March 21 2014 at 9:02 AM

This is no more then a game Putin and oboma know exactly what there doing there like 2 wrestlers on TV after all of the nonsense they both know whats happening its all been planed

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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

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bnevrgivup March 21 2014 at 9:34 AM

Alright Putin accepts the Ukrainian statement after their new PM Yatsenyuk, says "UKraine is not interested in joining NATO, after his visit to Washington last week. Putin in response says, "enough on the mutual sanctions." Let's stop! No. We should ask President Putin what his Foriegn Deputy Minister meant by threatening that Russia might change it's views concerning Iran? Don't let him off the hook on that one, let the world see these thugs for what they are...Was Mr. Putin saying that he sided with Nuclear Prolifiration for Iran and thus increase the chances for War to take place in the ME. Is he going to side with the Iran and commit Russia to back the Iranians militarily against the International community? What consequences does he see if he backs Iran? Putin's own statement is appropriate on this..."Don't push down on the spring too hard before it springs back!"
The Iranian spring is one when it bounces back will not be able to stop from hitting Russia very hard as a result of his miscalculation and bluster!

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Kim March 21 2014 at 1:25 PM

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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big dog jebby1 March 21 2014 at 1:59 PM

????? 2014?????

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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.

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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.

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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,

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snellshc March 21 2014 at 2:13 PM

What to put the hurt on them....Kill the Exxon deal!

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