Ukraine Democracy and Voting Rights: looking past our nose

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Simferopol, Ukraine (CNN) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had strong words for Russia on Wednesday as Washington again warned Moscow there will be consequences if it doesn't remove its troops from Crimea and Kiev said that it will "never surrender."

But Yatsenyuk also said after his meeting with Obama at the White House that Ukraine, a former Soviet Republic, wants to be a good friends with Russia.

"We will continue to say to the Russian government that if it continues on the path that is on, then not only us but the international community ... will be forced to apply a cost to Russia's violations of international law," Obama told reporters. "There is another path available, and we hope that (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin is willing seize that path."

Yatsenyuk -- who took over after the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian former president of Ukraine -- said that Ukraine is fighting for its freedom.

"We fight for our sovereignty, and we will never surrender," he said. Later he added that he wanted to be clear that Ukraine "is and will be a part of the Western world" but still a "good friend and partner of Russia."

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