Meet the Press   |  March 09, 2014

Blinken: Russia Facing 'Greater Isolation'

Tony Blinken, Deputy National Security Adviser to President Barack Obama, talks about the White House ratcheting up pressure on Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine crisis.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> talk about the crisis in ukraine . since this starred, the president and his top officials have issued it seems like line after line and putin seems toes have crossed them all. why does this president and the united states generally have so little influence over him?

>> well, david, i think what we've seen is the president mobilizing the international community in support of ukraine to isolate russia and to reassurure allies and partners. the president put together a major international support package. he's invited the oo ukrainian prime minister to consult with him. and in terms of isolating russia , what we've seen as a result of the mobilized support is that the financial markets in russia have hit lows. the ruble has hit a low, #j get involved in russia because of the instability. all of that is exacting a real consequence. the question is this.

>> i just want to challenge you on this point because my question is, we've said don't do this or else. and president putin keeps doing it and more.

>> the president's made clear and so have leaders from around the world including in europe where we're closely coordinated that russia has a choice going forward. it can continue down the path it's on and face much greater isolation and cost, or it can take the opportunity to resolve this diplomatically in a way that addresses its concerns but restores ukraine 's sovereignty.

>> he's not listening. i think people want to know why it is that the administration can't exert greater pressure on him to stop him before he does something.

>> the cost is already significant, first of all. second, the president's made clear that going forward, in coordination with our partners and allies, we have in place a mechanism with sanctions to raise the cost significantly. but this is really a choice for the russians to make. they have to decide whether they want to resolve this diplomatically or face growing isolation and growing economic