Obama: Russian speakers inside of Ukraine bearing brunt of fighting
One of the rationales Russian President Vladimir Putin provided for his incursions into Ukraine was to protect Russian-speakers there, but the costs that Russian-speaking people are bearing are severe, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday during a press conference after the G7 summit in Germany, Ukrainian newspaper Europeiska Pravda reported, with reference to the official Web site of the White House.
"Ironically, one of the rationales that Mr. Putin provided for his incursions into Ukraine was to protect Russian-speakers there. Well, Russian speakers inside of Ukraine are precisely the ones who are bearing the brunt of the fighting," he said.
"Their economy has collapsed. Their lives are disordered. Many of them are displaced. Their homes may have been destroyed. They’re suffering. And the best way for them to stop suffering is if the Minsk agreement is fully implemented," Obama said.
"Ultimately, this is going to be an issue for Mr. Putin. He’s got to make a decision: Does he continue to wreck his country’s economy and continue Russia’s isolation in pursuit of a wrong-headed desire to re-create the glories of the Soviet empire? Or does he recognize that Russia’s greatness does not depend on violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries?" he added.