February 28th, 2014
05:10 PM ET
6 months ago

Obama on Ukraine: The U.S. is 'deeply concerned'

(CNN) - The United States is "deeply concerned" by reports of Russian military movements inside Ukraine, President Barack Obama said Friday, saying any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty would be "deeply destabilizing."

Obama said that the situation in Ukraine was "very fluid" and that the United States would continue to coordinate closely with European allies and communicate directly with the Russian government.

"The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine," he said.

Here's a transcript of his remarks:

Good afternoon, everybody.

Over the last several days, the United States has been responding to events as they unfold in Ukraine. Throughout this crisis, we have been very clear about one fundamental principle: The Ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future. Together with our European allies, we have urged an end to the violence and encouraged Ukrainians to pursue a course in which they stabilize their country, forge a broad-based government and move to elections this spring.

I also spoke several days ago with President Putin, and my administration has been in daily communication with Russian officials, and we've made clear that they can be part of an international community’s effort to support the stability and success of a united Ukraine going forward, which is not only in the interest of The people of Ukraine and the international community, but also in Russia’s interest.

However, we are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine. Russia has a historic relationship with Ukraine, including cultural and economic ties, and a military facility in Crimea, but any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interest of Ukraine, Russia, or Europe.

*It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. It would be a clear violence [violation]of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws. And just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic Games, it would invite the condemnation of nations around the world. And indeed, the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.

The events of the past several months remind us of how difficult democracy can be in a country with deep divisions. But the Ukrainian people have also reminded us that human beings have a universal right to determine their own future.

Right now, the situation remains very fluid. Vice President Biden just spoke with Prime Minister - the Prime Minister of Ukraine to assure him that in this difficult moment the United States supports his government’s efforts and stands for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and democratic future of Ukraine. I also commend the Ukrainian government’s restraint and its commitment to uphold its international obligations.

We will continue to coordinate closely with our European allies. We will continue to communicate directly with the Russian government. And we will continue to keep all of you in the press corps and the American people informed as events develop.

Thanks very much.


Filed under: President Obama • Russia
soundoff (476 Responses)
  1. Stuffitu

    This idiot president is do disgusting. He must think Putin is like the US media and will bow down if he expresses his dissatisfaction. Putin must be in tears from laughter. I am laughing at this incredibly weak, sniveling, coward. He is grat at bullying hard working, tax paying citizens, but it is evident that the rest of the world sees what those of us in the TEA party have known ll long, Obama Isoptera, incompetent and corrupt.

    February 28, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. tarura

    " Deep concern " means nothing.
    America is weak and Putin knows it.

    February 28, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Milton

    He makes us appear weaker and weaker everytime he opens his mouth.

    February 28, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. PastorPaul

    Just like Syria, huh? The commander in chief blows smoke again. Nobody is listening.

    February 28, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Lardoggy

    Sure there will be ACE.

    February 28, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. cosmok

    More empty rhetoric by Obama. Putin knows you won't do anything, so why even say anything at all?

    February 28, 2014 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. Bob

    I am "deeply concerned" the cold war is coming back.

    February 28, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. scott

    Cold War II: Ex-KGB versus Ex-Harvard Prom Decoration Committee

    February 28, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Heinrich

    And Obama said "Gosh darn it, you Russians. You better stop or by golly I'll just tell you to stop again! You better stop it or else we will....well.....we will certainly....um......oh, never mind."

    February 28, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. smith

    @Tom P- To answer your question from an earlier post. The Dems are in power and calling the shots most of the time the focus of the ticker is on their ideas and concepts. Where are the posts about the global war on terror, pro-choice, anti-censorship, piracy and etc. These are topics I think Obama and dems are right about and support.

    February 28, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Mad Dog Mike

    Flashback to 1983 , VII Corps Artillery.. " Talks aren't going well , we are going on ALERT , to The Field " .. Operation Able-Archer 83.. Ahhhh The Good Old Days ...

    February 28, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Lewy

    Obama talks big – when the TelePrompter is running.

    February 28, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Miami 305

    Okay why we still stand by see evil puttin do what he want with out any consequence ..somebody splain that to me please unite state leading far behind this evil puttin...

    February 28, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. John

    Is this where we hear Obama tells us about an imaginary red line he never plans on doing anything about? The Russians think he is a joke. This is what happens when you consistently appease your rivals.

    February 28, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. Nauman Dar

    Is it just me or it seems that US does not want to have anything to do with the conflict. Maybe because they cant afford it financially or any other way,

    February 28, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. dywlf

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, Putins shaking in his boots at the harsh talking to he's going to get from Obama.

    February 28, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Pitbullguy805

    I hope this doesn't get out of control! WW3 could be closer than we all think!

    February 28, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. DWEBSTER

    Mr. Obama says "There will be costs" for any military intervention in the Ukraine. We all know what that means, the US tax payers will be on the hook again! Some political hacks in Ukraine will now become rich

    February 28, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. Joeinnc1

    This is the best that our President can say?

    February 28, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. dywlf

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, Putin's shaking in his boots at the harsh talking to he's going to get from Obama.

    February 28, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. Bagocheese

    Red line?

    February 28, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. Government Waste Rules

    Obama may be 'deeply concerned' but Putin isn't concerned at all by what Obama says after Syria.

    February 28, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. mcwreiole

    Dear President Obama, You got notin'. Thanks.

    February 28, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. omahakidw

    What? There has already been Military type action in the Ukraine. Insurgents have killed innocents, police, and others. Besides, your going to do what? AlQeda does what it whats and you do nothing other than bomb civilians, LIbya is still in crises, Egypt just had a Military intervention you did nothing, Kim Jung Un just shot off 4 rockets you did nothing, Russia is conducting Military drills and your telling them not to intervene ? Your not going to do anything why don`t you worry about fixing America, and the problems here and stop trying to talk tough

    February 28, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. Bubba

    So, we'll just send them a couple hundred copies of "Red Dawn" and wish them luck I guess? Worthless leaders...

    February 28, 2014 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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