President Obama’s had some tough — and also vague — words for President Vladimir Putin. (Via The White House)
“There will be costs to any military intervention in Ukraine.”
But what exactly are those costs? (Via The White House)
Most experts agree the president's options are pretty limited to begin with. He's already pulled out of planned meetings in Moscow scheduled for June.
Other possibilities include canceling the entire trip, booting Russia out of the Group of Eight and imposing economic sanctions. (Via The White House)
That last option was floated by Secretary of State John Kerry on NBC's "Meet the Press."
“There could even be ultimately asset freezes, visa bans.”
For some perspective on how Russia might respond, it's worth a look back at how a different U.S. president handled Russian invasion of a different former Soviet republic.
GEORGE W. BUSH: "I have directed a series of steps to show our solidarity with the Georgian people." (Via YouTube / The Book Archive)
The Bush administration sent troops to the region, suspended a nuclear agreement with Moscow, and helped negotiate a ceasefire — a ceasefire Russia barely stuck to. (Via CBS)
This time around, President Obama faces some added challenges. For one, he doesn't want to alienate Russia to the point that it stops cooperating on agreements with Iran and Syria. (Via U.S. Department of State)
And speaking of Syria, it was Obama's failure to enforce his red line against Bashar al-Assad that has many writing off this latest threat as an empty one. (Via The White House)
As Josh Rogin writes in the New York Daily News: "His threat is as empty as the Kiev mansion that Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovych fled."
Meanwhile, the chorus of Republicans who say the White House has been slow to react is growing louder.
MIKE ROGERS: "Putin is playing chess, and I think we are playing marbles, and I don't think it's even close." (Via Fox News)
LINDSEY GRAHAM: "Every time the president goes on national television and threatens someone like Putin, everybody’s eyes roll, including mine." (Via CNN)
Obama's warned there will be costs for military intervention. As whether Putin will heed his warning, one expert on Russian-American relations looks at it this way. “The question is: Are [the] costs big enough to cause Russia not to take advantage of the situation in the Crimea? That’s the $64,000 question.” (Via The New York Times)
Ukranian officials have also asked for assistance from the United Nation's Security Council, as well as NATO. Though it's worth noting Russia has veto power council and NATO doesn't have a formal alliance with Ukraine.