As Russian troops moved into Crimea on Friday, President Barack Obama issued a warning that any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty would destabilize the region.
Obama’s declaration bears some similarity to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement after the United Nations passed a resolution that allowed airstrikes against Libya in 2011.
In an angry speech before TV cameras, Putin, then Russia’s prime minister, ripped into the UN resolution “resembling a medieval call for a crusade” that paved the way for other nations to violate other nations’ national sovereignties.
“This resolution is defective. If we look at what is written there, it becomes obvious that it allows anyone to take any action against [any] sovereign state, and it reminds me of a medieval call for a crusade,” Putin declared at a press conference in Copenhagen, Denmark in April of 2011.
The Obama administration lobbied for the resolution to get approval to attack Libya – and the U.S. went on to be one of the main actors in the foreign intervention against the Gaddafi regime.