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Obama's Pledge Of Support To Poroshenko A Signal To Russia

President Obama met with Ukraine's president-elect on the anniversary of Poland's independence from Russia, but some warn these are different times.
Posted at 10:44 AM, Jun 04, 2014

Calling him a "wise selection" as the next leader of Ukraine, President Obama pledged more support to Petro Poroshenko after the two met in Poland Wednesday. (Via ​Flickr / Poland Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The visit to Poland marked the 25th anniversary of the country's first free elections after separating from Russia — the symbolism there veiled about as thinly as the president's remarks. (Via CBS)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: "We agree that further Russian provocation will be met with further costs for Russia, including, if necessary, additional sanctions. Russia has a responsibility to engage constructively with the Ukrainian government in Kiev." (Via Sky News)

President Obama also pledged a $1 billion fund to increase U.S. military deployments to Europe and $5 million to Ukraine's military for nonlethal equipment like body armor and night-vision goggles. (Via USA Today)

As tensions between Russia and the former Soviet state increased over the last several months, the U.S. pledged its support for Ukraine dealing more regularly with Europe and the West. Obama said he was impressed by businessman and President-elect Poroshenko's vision.

Poroshenko will certainly have to be very impressive to not only deal with a country in near-constant clashes with pro-Russian militants, but also a weak economy that helped lead to the ouster of his pro-Russian predecessor. (Via Channel 4Euronews)

Russia has since staged massive military exercises along the Ukrainian border in what many world leaders view as a flexing of muscle and intimidation to keep Ukraine under its influence. (Via ITN)

But while the president's appearance in Poland worked to show how Russian-influenced countries can gain further autonomy, some pointed out Poland had some advantages in 1989 Ukraine might not in 2014. (Via Al Jazeera)

Poland had the backing of a very rich West along with a weakened Russia in the late '80s following the Cold War, but Ukraine relies on Russia for energy.

BBC REPORTER: "Ukrainians want to know how they will endure a freezing winter if Russia turns off its gas supplies."

President Obama's next stop is in Brussels for the G7 Summit. Russia was recently kicked out of the G8 Summit, and the meeting's location was moved from Sochi for the country's involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.