Crimea Annexed, Assad In Power, Ukraine Under Siege, And Obama Tells Trump To Stand Up To Putin

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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President Barack Obama expressed hope Thursday that President-elect Donald Trump will stand up to Russian deviation from “values and international norms.”

Obama appeared at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, where he stated that Trump should not, “simply take a realpolitik approach and suggest that if we just cut some deals with Russia, even if it hurts people or even if it violates international norms or even if it leaves smaller countries vulnerable or creates long-term problems in regions like Syria, that we just do whatever’s convenient at the time.”

Under Obama’s presidency, Russia has illegally annexed Ukrainian Crimea, slaughtered thousands of civilians to prop up Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, and surreptitiously waged war against the Ukrainian government in the Donbass region.

Obama’s own record also shows him constantly striking deals with Russia. His government has brokered two failed U.S.-Russian ceasefires in Syria, a failed Syrian chemical weapons deal, and Russian inclusion in the Iranian nuclear deal.

Russia consistently flouted international norms throughout Obama’s presidency with no consequence. They have violated the NEW Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) under Obama’s presidency and withdrawn from another U.S.-Russian nuclear security act. Reports indicate the Kremlin is even moving the Russian border forward daily in Georgia, a U.S. ally.

Russia deployed extremely powerful nuclear-capable missiles in range of all four Baltic NATO allies in October, with no response or acknowledgment from Obama. “For Warsaw and several other NATO capitals, this move resembles a Baltic version of the Cuban Missile Crisis,” former NSA analyst and national security expert John Schindler wrote in The New York Observer at the time. The missile deployment also likely violates an intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty with Russia.

The U.S. intelligence community believes Russia is responsible for meddling in the 2016 presidential election, including hacking the Democratic National Committee and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s emails. The Obama administration has indicated it will respond “proportionately,” but no consequences for the Russian government are yet apparent.

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