February 28th, 2014
05:10 PM ET
10 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. Uh oh

    He didn't use the word terrorism yet, lets hold this against him for the next 3 years.

    February 28, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  2. Reallity

    Ya right, Putan does not fear us period.

    February 28, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. NameFrark R

    Do you think Putin believes the consequences will be more, less or about the same as Syria got for mass-murder?

    February 28, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. Blain Smipy

    Yeah right! Obozo will do nothing.

    February 28, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Murrica

    We can support a coup, but you can't. Sorry, Russia.

    February 28, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. Slappi

    Oooooooo... I'm sure Russia is really scared. Obama is such a weak president.

    February 28, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Eric

    Boots on the ground 3...2...1....

    February 28, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  8. libertyguard1

    Barry is in for a surprise if he thinks that ANY version of Russia will respond to threats.

    February 28, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Mike C

    Deeply concerned = There is nothing we can do because we sat in our rears for too long in support of freedom. Besides Putin is a better chess player than I am.

    February 28, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. S. dunbar

    Yep, were SURE Obozo's displeasure will cause Putin to reconsider...NOT

    February 28, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. Bill

    I find it somewhat amazing how Tom Clancy was able to write novels several months in advance of world events occurring, most recently in Command Authority (Ukraine) and in Threat Vector (China). He will be missed.

    February 28, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. Stiffer

    Like our chicken little Obama can do anything about this situation. Putin would only need to look in Berry Obama's direction and BO would fold like a cheap suit.

    February 28, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. Sniffit

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

    Indeed. And the GOP/Teatrolls are deeply disturbed.

    February 28, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. alex

    Why mr. Obama didn't say any words, when nazi's get power in Kiev?

    February 28, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. Mark Hohn

    What a hollow warning. Sadly if I anyone has a choice between Russia under Putin or the US under Obama as an ally you would have to be crazy to pick the US under Obama.

    February 28, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. Todd

    This is like Justin Beiber threatening a big group of people who don't like him right after telling all of his bodyguards they weren't needed anymore.

    February 28, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. don in albuquerque

    So be concerned--but stay the hell out of it.

    February 28, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. Richard

    Come on, you care less about country sovereignty. Just because it is russia doing it, you complain, while you do it at will.

    Examples Libya and almost Syria to name a couple.

    February 28, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. ArthurP

    There will be no costs. It will just be a return tot he Cold War status quo. where the Crimea is back in soviet hands.

    February 28, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. anon

    What a joke... Another Obama "red line". Obama has less a spine than a jellyfish. Putin has zero to worry about. Why? Because Putin is doing exactly what the people of Crimea want, be a part of Russia. It's the coup that Obama and friends fomented with the new criminal revolutionaries in Kiev now (as in they've been convicted for corruption and embezzlement). Once again Obama is going to be made the fool by Putin, why? Because Putin is actually, somehow, on the right side of history on this.

    But, no on in America will ever really know because our 43rd most independent in the world media will tell us otherwise. And the ignorant sheep will believe it like the good little slaves they are.

    February 28, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. JP

    "There will be costs"... Said the paper tiger who does nothing other than run his big, lying mouth! No world leader, ESPECIALLY Putin, could possibly care what he has to say anymore.

    February 28, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. lol

    yes because you plan on pulling out of astan by the end of the year.

    February 28, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  23. Bob

    U.S. to Russia: Don't intervene in Ukraine:

    “…the United States has already spent five billion dollars ($5,000,000,000) to subvert Ukraine.” —leaked telephone call from Victoria Nuland, U.S. Asst. Sec’y of State (wife of Robert Kagan, former advisor to Bush, the younger).

    February 28, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. crazyhorse3290

    Will Barry be drawing another red line?

    February 28, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. dean

    Russia knows he'll do jack squatt

    February 28, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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