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Mar 5, 2014 11:02 AM by David Randall

High level meetings

Today will mark the first high-level meeting between the U.S. and Russia since violence broke out in Ukraine, and toppled that country's government.

Secretary of State John Kerry meets Russia's foreign minister in Paris. He's trying to get Russia to stay out of the conflict.

An invasion that violates international law - that's what President Obama called it at a fundraising dinner last night. But Russia's president insists the troops in southern Ukraine aren't his.

Despite denials from Russian President Vladimir Putin, the U.S. is calling Russian troops in southern Ukraine an all-out invasion. "It is not appropriate to invade a country and at the end of a barrel of a gun dictate what you are trying to achieve," said Secretary of State John Kerry.

"That is not how international law is supposed to operate," said President Barack Obama

That will be the message when Secretary of State John Kerry sits down with his Russian counterpart today.

He's trying to convince Putin that Russian soldiers walking the streets of Crimea with guns drawn has already gone too far. "He has a strategic interest in the Crimea and he has taken that calculation and realized that he can get away with this," said Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, U.S. Army, Retired.

Critics say President Obama ignored the Russian threat for too long: "This President believes the Cold War was over, Vladmir Putin doesn't believe that the Cold War is over," said Senator John McCain, (R) Arizona.

But analysts say putin may respond to economic sanctions from the U.S. and its allies. "He's sensitive to that, he should be, it can have a real effect on his economy, on the economy of Russia," said Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor

The U.S., teaming up with Ukraine's new government, and waiting to see what Russia will do next.

 

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