After gunmen stormed a government building in the Crimean region and raised a Russian flag in definance of the new Ukrainian government, recent Russian troop movements at the border between the two countries have become more concerning to U.S. officials.

CNN Reports,

The Russian military exercises near the Ukraine border are making U.S. military and intelligence agencies concerned Russia may be positioning ground forces to be able to move across the border into Ukraine if Moscow issued such orders, U.S. officials told CNN.

A senior U.S. official familiar with the most recent administration assessment told CNN now that the Russians “have brought troops out of garrison,” they could potentially move “quite quickly” once an order comes.

However, U.S. military and intelligence agencies conclude for now that Russia does not intend to move military forces into Ukraine.

The United States believes the exercises are part of President Vladimir Putin’s “message” to both Ukraine and the U.S. that he can move his military into Ukraine to protect Russian interests if he chooses, the official said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Wednesday the exercises were to check “combat readiness.”

Two U.S. officials earlier said that intelligence suggests Russia is “repositioning” up to half a dozen Russian ships near the Ukrainian port city of Sevastopol in case they’re needed to respond if Russian interests in Crimea are threatened.

In response to these recent developments, U.S. and NATO officials have warned Russia to “respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and avoid proactive action.”

In light of the perceptibly increasing tensions between the U.S. and Russia over Syria — and now, Ukraine — I was reminded of the 2012 presidential debate where President Obama scoffed at Romney’s suggestion that Russia was the number one geopolitical foe of the U.S.

Said President Obama,

The 1980’s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War has been over for 20 years… I know you’re not in a position to actually execute foreign policy, but every time you’ve had an opinion, you’ve been wrong.

Romney’s response to the President’s cavalier attitude toward Russia was well said even at that time, but now it seems almost prophetic.

If the ‘80s are calling, President Obama may want to pick up.

(Featured Image Source: YouTube)

 
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