Russia says it’s not breaking international law

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SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE – As Russian President Vladimir Putin continues boot scootin’ his way into Ukraine, the rest of the international community is hoping he comes to his senses and pulls back on the reins.

Putin seems to think he’s got “legitimate interests” in invading the neighboring country of Ukraine because it’s got a large population of Russian-nationals, and he thinks protecting them is reason enough to invade.

President Obama, and pretty much every other leader in the world, says there’s no evidence these Russian nationals in Ukraine are being threatened. That means Putin has no right to exert his influence through force,  and the boots on the ground are therefore, a violation of international law.

If you remember, this all started with protests in Kiev over a dysfunctional political system. So, the United States (shining city on a hill that we are) has devised a plan to provide an assistance package to Ukraine. President Obama said in a press conference, “”We announced a significant package of our own, to support Ukraine’s economy and also to provide them with the technical assistance that they need, that includes a loan guarantee package of one billion dollars.  It provides immediate expertise to Ukraine to repair its economy and — more importantly — it provides assistance to help Ukraine plan for elections that are going to be coming up, very soon.”

Helping Ukraine get back on its feet is important, but this is still the United States and we’re not dishing out that kind of money without righting some wrongs, too. Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey reinforced President Obama’s commitment to help Ukraine while punishing Russia, saying, “The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is as we speak developing a bipartisan legislative package to provide critical support to the Ukraine and at the same time pursue a series, a menu of sanctions for those who violate international law. You must say what you mean and mean what you say and that is what we intend to do.”

As the saying goes, when it Ukraines… it pours!