February 28th, 2014
05:10 PM ET
8 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. Wade

    Putin Laughs at Obama and I am sure Obama is right he will wind up paying Putin more money ! LOL... Obama has made a total mess of the USA and the rest of the world.

    February 28, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. Steve

    So...about the comment Romney made and people thought he was stupid. I know this is small in nature..for now.

    February 28, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. nonyabidnes2

    If you continue on the course we will have no option other than, sending you a stern warning. If that fails, we will send another

    February 28, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  4. Kwakrbarrel

    Putin is as afraid of Obama as much as Mike Tyson would fear Tinker bell.

    February 28, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Do you crazy right wingnuts really think anybody fears Putin? He has no control over much of anything. While you nut jobs want troops in another war, it is time for you whackos to sit down and shut up.

    February 28, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  6. Al

    Does Ukraine have a military? Why don't they just go remove those Russian invaders?

    February 28, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. Pair plum

    "The US is deeply concerned"... No we're not lol. What a joke- Obama is Putin's b**ch now and will go along with whatever he wants- made a deal with the devil over Syria

    February 28, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. massms

    I'll bet Putin was shaking in his boots after the Pantywaist President spoke.

    February 28, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. hkirwin

    Putin laughs at Obama and treats him like a red-headed step-child. Russia already has ships off the coast of FL. The left are aready retreating. If our military has any sense they will not fight for Obama. Let the left use their words against Russia.

    February 28, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  10. nonyabidnes2

    If you continue on this course,we will have no option other than sending you a stern warning. If that fails, we will send another

    February 28, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  11. julnor

    Not our business, not our interest. I hope there is no more bloodshed and that the Ukrainian people can live in freedom. But again, this is far more of a European issue than an American issue.

    February 28, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  12. Kris

    Obama has so much international respect that China annexes ocean and Russia invades the Ukraine

    February 28, 2014 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. Tommy

    Umm I hope our President knows Putin will not back down on this, Russia does not send airborne troops for show.

    February 28, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. Raven

    Our pres really seems to want to start WWIII. STAY OUT OF IT!!!

    February 28, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Badger1217

    Or what? This administration just gutted our military taking it back to pre WWII levels. Putin has warships in Cuba and has ties with Central and South American countries who will happily allow a Russian military presence. Obama is systematically weakening our nation politically, economically, socially, and militarily. Good job sir. Well done. Meantime I will brush up. добро пожаловать

    February 28, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    Take the situation in Ukraine and put it in Mexico and you tell me what WE would be doing with OUR military and what the GOP/Teatrolls would be demanding we do and what they would be saying to justify it. Yeah.

    Now, just take those words and put them in Russia's/Putin's mouth with respect to Ukraine.

    February 28, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  17. obamaisamoron

    <-Yep

    February 28, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. RBA

    What do our esteemed partners-NATO, EU and middle east have to say. More important, what are they doing

    February 28, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. Coley

    Obama should really stop making idle threats, no one takes him seriously. He's the milquetoast of the town.

    February 28, 2014 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. Shamoononon

    Did he also ask Putin to partake in a crack pipe with him?

    February 28, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. Uncle frank

    Come on Mr. President, keep your mouth shut, the world already sees you as a spineless leader, everyone knows your not going to take on Russia.

    February 28, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. Name

    Anyone else notice in the pictures they're showing on CNN the "russian" soldiers have no markings on their uniforms and it looks like their rifles don't have magazines in them?

    February 28, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. DEEP THINKER

    What a joke!!!

    February 28, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. Scott

    Now waiting for Putin to [female dog] slap that pathetic excuse of a world leader.

    Scott

    February 28, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. DEEP THINKER

    Now I really know he is a liar.

    February 28, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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