【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. sanction /ˈsæŋkʃən/ (v.) – to penalize someone for breaking a law or an agreement
Example: Fishermen caught fishing outside the Philippine territory will be sanctioned.
2. back up /bæk ʌp/ (v.) – to show support to someone
Example: The citizens backed up the government’s new plan.
3. halt /hɔlt/ (v.) – to make a stop either temporarily or permanently
Example: The company’s operation was halted because of financial violations.
4. annexation /ˌænɪkˈseɪʃən/ (n.) – the act of acquiring another territory as an annex
Example: Russia’s annexation of Crimea sparked criticism among many people.
5. autonomous /ɔˈtɒnəməs/ (adj.) – independent and having the ability and power to rule on its own
Example: Hong Kong wanted to be autonomous from China.
Read the text below.
President Vladimir Putin [VLAD-uh-meer pooh-tin] announced that Russia will set up its own credit card system after being sanctioned by the US and the European Union (EU).
In a meeting, Putin backed up the proposal to create a local credit card system in Russia after Master Card and Visa put restrictions on some of the banks in the country. Both payment systems halted their services because of the issue over Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
This suspension happened after Putin signed a legislation to take Crimea from Ukraine and make it a part of Russia. Some Western countries reacted to this negatively as they consider this act a violation of Ukraine’s constitution. According to some Western states, they do not recognize Crimea as part of Russia.
Despite this, the president remained firm and vowed to make a domestic-based credit card system. In fact, Putin said that the sanctions would put the US in an unfavorable circumstance as this will make them lose a very profitable market. More than 85 percent of Russians are Master Card and Visa card holders.
On the other hand, the US and the EU said they will not hold off giving further sanctions should Russia aggravate the situation.
Crimea is internationally recognized as an autonomous republic of Ukraine. Because of conflict of interests, Crimeans voted to become separated from their mother country. A March 16 referendum states Crimea’s withdrawal from Ukraine and its decision to join Russia.
Putin further said that he will do everything he can as quickly as possible so that Crimeans will feel like full-fledged citizens of the Russian federation.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· Do you think the sanctions given by the US and the EU are fair enough? Why or Why not?
· Do you think it is necessary for the US and the EU to be involved in Russia’s conflict with Ukraine?
· Why do you think territorial disputes are common today?
· What would happen if conflicts among different countries are not resolved immediately?