Susan Rice: White House reassessing U.S.- Russia relations
March 21st, 2014
03:50 PM ET
9 months ago

Susan Rice: White House reassessing U.S.- Russia relations

Washington (CNN) – Asked whether the United States is reassessing its relationship with Russia given the crisis in Ukraine, White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice offered a direct answer.

"Yes," Rice flatly told reporters Friday during a briefing for President Obama's trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia next week.

"It is causing the countries and people of Europe and the international community and, of course, the United States to reassess," she added.

The invasion and annexation of Crimea by Moscow have forced the White House to make major adjustments to next week's itinerary for Obama, adding a key meeting with leaders from G-7 nations, a gathering where administration officials said further "isolation" of Russia will be on the agenda.

A bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi has also been scheduled. Both Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have appealed to China, seeking support for their competing positions over Ukraine's fate.

Ukraine will also be a major theme of the President's signature speech of the coming week. The address, set for Wednesday in Belgium, will focus on European security, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told reporters Friday.

"Obviously, the situation in Ukraine will factor heavily into his presentation. It only reinforces the need for the United States to remain committed to a strong transatlantic alliance, to the security of Europe, the integration of Europe, and to the values that the United States and Europe stand for," Rhodes said.

Previously scheduled meetings with NATO's Secretary General and the European Union have only taken on greater importance, administration officials said.

"These will be important discussions on NATO's collective defense," Rhodes said.

Asked whether the President will deliver a direct message to Russia's leadership during his overseas trip, Rice insisted Obama has been doing just that all along.

With U.S. officials keeping a close eye on the thousands of Russian troops gathering on Ukraine's borders over the past week, the unfolding crisis in Eastern Europe has the potential to further disrupt what’s already going to be a busy seven-day agenda for Obama, who is also scheduled to meet with Pope Francis and Saudi King Abdullah.

White House officials announced Obama will hold a trilateral meeting with South Korea's president and Japan's prime minister during his first stop in the Netherlands.


Filed under: President Obama • Russia • Susan Rice
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Dean

    I'll bet if someone pulls her string, she'll have a different phrase.

    March 21, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Reggie53

    I would like to know what Susan rice knows about National Security to be able to advise the president. That is why he is doing such a lousy job because the people he has around him do not know what they are doing. Because of Obama's inadequacies, he needs more qualified advisors around him as he definitely needs alot of help.

    March 21, 2014 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Conservatives love to criticize Clinton and the Obama administration for a failre to "reset relations with Russia." Let's not forget why they were even trying to do that in the first place? The relationship was already deteriorated when they were sworn in back 2009 when they were sworn in.

    March 21, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Russia needs Bread–not Crimea, nor Ukraine.

    March 21, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Harold Read

    Isn't Susan Rice the same person that stated that the Benghazi Attack was just a "group of spontaneous protestors upset about the YouTube movie", over and over and over again?

    So Russia's annexation was just a spontaneous group of Russian history buffs touring a region that used to belong to the Soviet Union?

    March 21, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Silence DoGood

    @Harold Read
    Isn't Susan Rice the same person that stated that the Benghazi Attack was just a "group of spontaneous protestors upset about the YouTube movie", over and over and over again?

    So Russia's annexation was just a spontaneous group of Russian history buffs touring a region that used to belong to the Soviet Union?
    -----------
    Benghazi – the the Birth Certificate Death Panel conspiracy theory.

    March 21, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Winning

    I've got an idea Harold, let's state an argument nobody has made and then pretend like it's relevant. Fun thing to do on a Friday.

    March 21, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. 1108

    Hey Susan,
    “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

    March 21, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @Reggie53
    I would like to know what Susan rice knows about National Security to be able to advise the president. That is why he is doing such a lousy job because the people he has around him do not know what they are doing. Because of Obama's inadequacies, he needs more qualified advisors around him as he definitely needs alot of help.

    Thank you for sharing all the wisdom and hidden knowledge regarding top secret, classified information. Of course you got it from some out of work, compensated right ring hack that Fake "News" calls an "expert".

    March 21, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. NorCalMojo

    Quick, blame you tube.

    March 21, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Tampa Tim

    Hey wingnuts, Fox and Hannity are lying to you.

    March 21, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I am closely following how our President is handling this crisis.
    I am pleased and satisfied that he is not acting unilaterally, but seeking instead to build coalition and consensus amongst other leading nations.
    No matter what his detractors might post on this thread, the fact is that THIS President has excelled in his handling of foreign policy.
    He acts and speaks measuredly, giving diplomacy and non-combative methods every possible opportunity to work before switching gears.
    I trust THIS President to see us through this.

    March 21, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    A bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi has also been scheduled. Both Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have appealed to China, seeking support for their competing positions over Ukraine's fate.
    -------------------------------------------------
    I can't help but smile and glibly say that if I were the Chinese President I'd side with the one that owed me the most money. Lol!

    March 21, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. Thomas Wainwright

    Does anyone find any of the following people to be remotely likable?:
    –John F Kerry
    –Little Timmy Geithner (former Treasury Secretary)
    –Rahm Emanuel
    –Hillary Clinton
    –Susan Rice
    –Kathleen Sebelius
    –Eric (I Love to Break the Law) Holder
    –Chuck Hagel
    I could go on and on. The point is that obama is the weakest president in modern times with the worst set of advisers ever. Very bad combination. If you include Crazy Uncle Joe Biden to this list....it only makes my argument stronger.

    March 21, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |