Press Digest: Obama asks Congress to finance campaign against ISIS

Obama asked the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to authorize military force to "degrade and defeat" Islamic State forces in the Middle East without sustained, large-scale U.S. ground combat operations, setting lawmakers on a path toward their first war powers vote in 13 years. Source: Reuters

Obama asked the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to authorize military force to "degrade and defeat" Islamic State forces in the Middle East without sustained, large-scale U.S. ground combat operations, setting lawmakers on a path toward their first war powers vote in 13 years. Source: Reuters

RBTH presents a selection of views from leading Russian media on international events, featuring reports on U.S. President Barack Obama’s request to Congress for funding to support the fight against the ISIS militant group in the Middle East, and the possibility of Greece seeking financial assistance from Moscow to help revive its economy.

Obama asks Congress for money to destroy ISIS

The Russian daily tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets writes that U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for authorization to use military force against the Islamic State jihadist group, calling on legislators to "show the world that we are united" in determination to repel the threat.

A little later the American leader made a statement at the White House, saying that the U.S. will not be dragged back into another prolonged war in the Middle East, the newspaper reports. "The resolution we've submitted today does not call for the deployment of U.S. ground combat forces to Iraq or Syria," Obama said. However, the U.S. president still allowed for the possibility that, if necessary, he may order U.S. special forces to take action against the ISIS. According to him, the U.S. will continue to conduct targeted airstrikes against the militants.

According to Obama, the fight against the Islamist group's militants may last for the next three years, the newspaper writes.

Moskovsky Kosmomolets also reminds its readers that the U.S. leader appealed to Congress for authorization to use military force backdated by six months. Airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iraq started last August, while September saw the launch of airstrikes against the group in Syria.

At the same time, Obama, whose term expires in early 2017, admitted that he may leave the problem of fighting against Islamic State to the next president, the newspaper says.

 

Greeks may ask Russia for money

Online newspaper Gazeta.ru reports that the Greek government is to present its debt-restructuring program at an extraordinary meeting of the Eurogroup of EU finance ministers in Brussels. In addition, the Greek side will ask the Eurogroup to sign an interim agreement on the financing of its banking system until the end of August. The current program of financial assistance from the troika of creditors – the IMF, the ECB and the European Commission – through which the country has already received a total of €240 billion expires on Feb. 28.

Despite the relatively high probability of consensus, the Greek authorities are trying in every way to make it clear ahead of the next round of negotiations with European creditors that Athens will seek to ease the conditions of its debt, though in fact Brussels is not the only possible source of funding for Greece, Gazeta.ru points out. According to the publication, Athens may apply for financial assistance to Moscow; in any case, such a possibility was mentioned by both Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

However, the experts interviewed by Gazeta.ru believe that the Greek economy is more likely to be supported by Cyprus than Russia, whose own economy is in crisis. 

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