Results and mandates: what Obama said at his last press conference


Disagreements in Russia

Last press conference of Barack Obama as President of the United States in the White house lasted just under an hour. The second question posed by the representative of the presidential pool, dealt with the relations of the USA and Russia and the relationship of Obama to offer the Donald trump. The US President-elect this week announced that sanctions against Russia could be lifted if Moscow will reduce the nuclear potential.

“I think that in the interests of America and Russia to have a constructive relationship. That was my strategy. At the beginning of my term, I did everything I could to Russia was part of the international community,” reminded Obama about the “reset” policy pursued by his administration, when the President of Russia was Dmitry Medvedev. The responsibility for the subsequent failure of the relationship lies in Russia, follows from the words of the outgoing us President. According to Obama, once in 2012, Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency, he has toughened the anti-American rhetoric has changed the approach to international Affairs and began to adhere to the position that everything that America does is bad for Russia, and it should be resisted. “Return to the spirit of competition during the cold war have made relations more difficult,” Obama said. They are even more complicated, after the Crimea became a Russian, he said.

Obama recalled that the sanctions were imposed due to the violation by Russia of the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine, not because of problems in the nuclear field. “Not to be confused with the reasons for which sanctions were imposed, with a wide range of other topics,” urged Obama. He also recalled that it had proposed to Vladimir Putin to reduce nuclear arsenals, but the Russian side was not ready to negotiate on the subject.

Disagreements on Israel and the media

A large part of the opening words Obama dedicated the role of media. “You have to be skeptical and ask the tough questions. You should be critical to someone who has the power <…> Your stay in this building (the White house) makes this place better and makes us work”, — he said to journalists. The President-elect trump had previously announced its intention to transfer the venue of the press conferences from the White house to a nearby building. At his press conference, he did not give to ask a question to CNN correspondent, as on the eve on the channel’s website published information about the alleged Russia has the dirt on the future President. Not just critically against the press trump has made during the campaign. This forced the chief editor of the Columbia Journalism Review Kyle Pope on behalf of the American press to issue an open letter criticizing trump.

In the section relating to foreign policy, Obama has also been asked to speak about his attitude to the fact, in what state he leaves the Palestinian-Israeli settlement. The President said that the current status quo is dangerous for Israel, bad for Palestine and a threat to American national security. In the opinion of the 44th President of the United States, the parties and their partners need to strive for the settlement of the conflict based on the principle of two States.

If not a two-state (Israeli and Palestinian), would be in danger of the democratic system of Israel, as it would mean the continuation of the occupation, and some of the residents of such a single state will be second-class citizens, said Obama. One of the last decisions of the Obama administration was to support the resolutions of the UN security Council banning the construction of Israeli settlements in the disputed territories that caused the angry reaction of the Israeli leadership. Trump criticized the Obama’s decision, he also promised to move the American Embassy from tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The legacy of Obama and his future role

The outgoing President assured journalists that on January 20 with his wife, Michelle, will attend the inauguration of the trump. The topic of the boycott of the inauguration many Democrats, he did not comment. After this year, Obama plans to devote himself to literary work, “a little quiet and not talk so much” to spend time with his daughters and wife. “I’m not saying that I’m gonna run in the near future,” he said. Earlier, Obama talked about the fact that at the end of office does not intend to leave Washington. He also said that being an American citizen reserves the right to comment on these important issues. To those he enumerated: discrimination, barriers to voting, institutional attempts to silence the press and dissent with the government, attempts to violate the rights of American children born of immigrant parents. “This will make me talk, but that doesn’t mean I have somewhere to be elected,” said the outgoing President.

About his achievements as President Obama said last week in a farewell speech. At a press conference he added that it is unlikely that in the future can be changed its policy with respect to the extension of the rights of sexual minorities. He also explained his decision to reduce a prison sentence for the WikiLeaks informant Chelsea manning, noting that she had already served quite a long time.

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