March 12 - U.S. President Barack Obama holds face-to-face talks with new Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk in the Oval Office and says, ''We will stand with Ukraine.'' Jillian Kitchener reports.
President Obama put out a stern warning to Russia on Wednesday. He said the West will be forced to apply a "cost" to Moscow if it fails to change course with its involvement in Ukraine. Obama held talks with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk at the White House Wednesday -- Searching for diplomatic leverage to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to loosen his military grip on Crimea. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING: "We will continue to say to the Russian government that if it continues on the path that it is on, then not only us, but the international community, the European Union, and others will be forced to apply a cost to Russia's violations of international law and its encroachments on Ukraine. There's another path available and we hope that President Putin is willing to seize that path." Yatseniuk had this to say: (SOUNDBITE) (English) UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER ARSENY YATSENIUK, SAYING: "Mr. President, it's all about freedom." And sent another message to Putin to back down… and calm down. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER ARSENY YATSENIUK SAYING: "Mr. Putin, tear down this wall, the wall of war, intimidation and military aggression. Let's stop, let's calm down." This comes as election workers assemble polling stations in Crimea. And Ukraine's military holds military drills in the Southern part of the country. All in preparation for the March 16th referendum vote on joining Russia, when the fate of Crimea will be determined.