Obama gave an interview to Major Garrett of CBS News, who asked a series of provocative questions suggesting that the White House should step up its campaign of economic warfare against Russia. Before the interview, the White House announced that a new round of economic sanctions had been "prepared" for use against Russia if there was no progress in resolving the crisis in Ukraine.
Obama told CBS that it was "absolutely clear" that Russia had violated Ukrainian sovereignty in annexing Crimea and that it was continuing to do so by supporting "non-state militias" in southern and eastern Ukraine, where there is overwhelming popular hostility to the US-backed right-wing regime in Kiev.
Offering no proof for his accusations against Russia, Obama declared: "What I've said consistently is that each time Russia takes these kinds of steps, that are designed to destabilize Ukraine and violate their sovereignty, that there are going to be consequences, and what you have already seen is the Russian economy weaker, capital fleeing out of Russia."
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Patrick Martin writes for the World Socialist Website (wsws.org), a forum for socialist ideas & analysis & published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).