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SPORTS
March 17, 2014 | By David Wharton
Russian President Vladimir Putin -- who has a lot on his mind these days -- took a few minutes Monday to thank his country's athletes for their dominant performance in the Sochi Paralympics. The Russian team won 30 golds and a total of 80 medals during the two-week competition. The next closest team, Ukraine, had five golds and 25 total. "Thank you very much for the inspiration that you have given millions of people, who are ready to do as you do and not just engage in sport and fitness, but set the highest goals in life," the president was quoted as saying on the Kremlin's website.
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WORLD
March 17, 2014 | By Henry Chu, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
LONDON - Europe's top diplomats began huddling in Brussels on Monday to finalize sanctions on individuals leading the drive to split Crimea off from Ukraine and deliver it to Russia. The EU effort is likely to increase tensions with Moscow. Foreign ministers from the 28 nations of the European Union say they are united in condemning Sunday's secession vote in Crimea as illegal, invalid and worthy of a strong riposte. That response will start with travel bans and asset freezes on people who the EU believes facilitated Russia's military incursion into the Crimean peninsula and expedited the referendum on breaking away from Ukraine.
WORLD
March 16, 2014 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - Supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin expect to savor victory as residents of Crimea vote Sunday on splitting from Ukraine. But Western officials and analysts increasingly feel that in the long run, Russians will come to see their nation's military and political move into Crimea as a mistake. Two weeks after Russian forces entered the peninsula en masse, Russia's stock market and economic data have started to signal trouble - the start of what could become a lasting pullback by foreign investors.
SPORTS
March 14, 2014 | By David Wharton
One man's glitch is another man's gold. Immediately after the producers of the opening ceremony at the Sochi Games suffered their famous malfunction -- four electric snowflakes blossoming into Olympic rings while a fifth remained closed -- a Russian businessman began using the image in advertisements. Now the RBC Daily in Russia reports that Dmitry Medvedev, who is no relation to his country's prime minister, wants to trademark the unintended logo. Medvedev called the four rings "great public relations" and has applied to a Russian patent office because he worries about being sued by Olympics officials.
WORLD
March 14, 2014 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry and his Russian counterpart have launched a new round of talks to try to cool down the crisis over Moscow's de facto occupation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and the secession referendum planned there this weekend. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov began their meeting Friday morning at the U.S. ambassador's residence in London amid pessimism that either Moscow or the West will budge in possibly their worst confrontation over Europe since the end of the Cold War. The United States and the European Union condemn the takeover of Crimea by pro-Russian forces and say the plebiscite Sunday on whether to withdraw from Ukraine and join Russia is illegitimate.
WORLD
March 13, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - A Ukrainian army colonel whose troops have been challenged by Russian marines for control of a Crimean air base threatened Thursday to open fire unless given new and formal instructions to hold off by his nation's defense ministry, the UNIAN news agency reported. “Being under constant pressure from Russian Federation army servicemen and local militia … we are acting on oral orders to hold on, not to give in to provocations and not to open fire,” Col. Yuly Mamchur said in a statement quoted by UNIAN news agency.
WORLD
March 11, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- The House overwhelmingly agreed Tuesday to condemn Russian military action in Ukraine, a vote that provided more symbolism than substance as Congress continues to wrestle over its response to the crisis in Crimea. The resolution won bipartisan backing on the eve of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk's visit to the capital, where he is expected to meet with House and Senate leaders Wednesday, and hold talks with President Obama at the White House. Yet Congress has struggled to provide a more substantive package of $1 billion in loan guarantees for the new Ukrainian government, or slap additional sanctions on Russia beyond those imposed last week by the White House.
WORLD
March 10, 2014 | By Henry Chu
KIEV, Ukraine -- The United States continues to rule out military action to eject Russian troops from Crimea and acknowledges that a diplomatic settlement needs to address Moscow's interests in the strategically important peninsula, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine said Monday. “Crimea is and should remain a part of Ukraine. Discussion over,” said Geoffrey R. Pyatt, the top American diplomat in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. But the Obama administration, which has slapped limited sanctions on Russia for its incursion into Crimea, remains committed to finding “an off-ramp” for Moscow that would take into account its “legitimate interests in Crimea in a way that's in conformance with international law and respects Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Pyatt told reporters at a news conference.
WORLD
March 9, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- The United States would not recognize a referendum by Crimea to leave Ukraine, and a shift of that region to Russia “is not a done deal,” a top Obama administration official said Sunday. “If there is a referendum and it votes to move Crimea out of Ukraine and to Russia, we won't recognize it and most of the world won't either,” deputy national security advisor Tony Blinken said on NBC's “Meet the Press.” “Were that to happen, the isolation of Russia, the cost that it would pay, would increase significantly from where they are now,” he said.
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