Kerry condemns Russia's 'invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory'
March 1st, 2014
08:16 PM ET
6 months ago

Kerry condemns Russia's 'invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory'

Secretary of State John Kerry issued the following statement on the situation in Ukraine:

"The United States condemns the Russian Federation's invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory, and its violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity in full contravention of Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, its 1997 military basing agreement with Ukraine, and the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. This action is a threat to the peace and security of Ukraine, and the wider region.


I spoke with President Turchynov this morning to assure him he had the strong support of the United States and commend the new government for showing the utmost restraint in the face of the clear and present danger to the integrity of their state, and the assaults on their sovereignty. We also urge that the Government of Ukraine continue to make clear, as it has from throughout this crisis, its commitment to protect the rights of all Ukrainians and uphold its international obligations.

As President Obama has said, we call for Russia to withdraw its forces back to bases, refrain from interference elsewhere in Ukraine, and support international mediation to address any legitimate issues regarding the protection of minority rights or security.

From day one, we've made clear that we recognize and respect Russia’s ties to Ukraine and its concerns about treatment of ethnic Russians. But these concerns can and must be addressed in a way that does not violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, by directly engaging the Government of Ukraine.

Unless immediate and concrete steps are taken by Russia to deescalate tensions, the effect on U.S.-Russian relations and on Russia’s international standing will be profound.
I convened a call this afternoon with my counterparts from around the world, to coordinate on next steps. We were unified in our assessment and will work closely together to support Ukraine and its people at this historic hour.

In the coming days, emergency consultations will commence in the UN Security Council, the North Atlantic Council, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in defense of the underlying principles critical to the maintenance of international peace and security. We continue to believe in the importance of an international presence from the UN or OSCE to gather facts, monitor for violations or abuses and help protect rights. As a leading member of both organizations, Russia can actively participate and make sure its interests are taken into account.

The people of Ukraine want nothing more than the right to define their own future – peacefully, politically and in stability. They must have the international community’s full support at this vital moment. The United States stands with them, as we have for 22 years, in seeing their rights restored."


Filed under: John Kerry • Ukraine
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. rh

    What does the UN have to say about Russia's aggression?

    Anything? Anything at all?

    March 2, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Jim Jimson

    Russia holds all the cards in this conflict.

    The U.S. holds none.

    March 2, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  3. menisino

    Watching & listening to Obama & Kerry is like watching Abbott & Costello in " Whose On First" over & over & over again.

    March 2, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    Stay out of this mess–we better fix our potholes on I-95, first, then you can police the world. Georgia was invaded by Russia, what did Bush do?

    March 2, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. BushBrainDead

    I love how all of you American "Patriots" condemn our President (if you are really even American). What would your illustrious George Bush do in this situation? He would get together his Hawk administration, put on his thinking cap and invade Romania in response to Russia's aggression. How would I solve this? I would let Putin know we have a few nukes we will be launching on his location at our time of choosing. Make it personal for that Stalin Wanna-Be.

    March 2, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. Randy

    You would think the SECS would know the correct way the American flag should be posted.

    March 2, 2014 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. john

    These guys Speak loudly and carry a short stick

    March 2, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Neutral Observer

    I have to agree with Reggie. It's ironic that while Russians are invading to secure their borders, our govt is bending over backwards to ensure that our borders are being invaded. And I guess the whole plan to reduce our military to pre-ww2 levels is quite the laugh eh?

    March 2, 2014 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Alex

    The new laedership in Ukraine is illegitimate, whether we like it or not. The armed demonstrators, thousands of them, appointed these so called leaders, so they have no electoral legitimacy in the country of 48 million. In my opinion, the West orchestrated this fiasco in Kiev and now they think that people are stupid enough to believe John Kerry's rhetoric, which has nothing to do with reality.

    If anything, those who support Russia in the east are all democratically elected representatives, something that current leaders in Kiev are not. The US has lost itscredibility, when those they supported in Syria, turned oud to be militant islamists. What they call "people of Ukraine", has nothing to do with the entire population and their wishes. Wherever the Russian troops are in Eastern Ukraine, the overwhelming majority of people supports them there, so how are we in the west to tell them what they should do and to call them invaders. It is ridiculous.

    March 2, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. JOHN

    Wow John Kerry its ok to invade and occupy Afganistan ,Iraq and overthrow Saddam and now you have thé balls to tell what Russia to do .

    March 2, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Obama - The Absentee Incompetent President

    Tampa Tim
    I wonder what would be wrong with working with our allies and the UN to put an end to Russian aggression.
    -–

    You are an idiot. Without the USA there is no UN or allies, we are 90% of anything. Obama has destroyed to main cog by unilaterally disarming and giving the green light to Russia with that knee slap. We are now seeing the flexibility that Obama granted Putin. It is no coincidence that under the Obama administration, we and all of our allies have become weaker and Russia and all of our adversaries have become stronger. It is the Obama foreign policy of USA containment and disarmament.

    March 2, 2014 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Neutral Observer

    Remember John Kerry's "botched joke"? That is John Kerry's life story, he's just one big majorly botched joke.

    March 2, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Martha Arguetta

    Mckain war men Obama Peace man I believe so

    March 2, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. MJ

    Ironic that Obama mocked Romney when he said Russia was a major threat to the United States.

    March 2, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Donna

    I heard Kerry on the Sunday morning talk shows. He sounded like he and Obama were perfectly willing to help the Russians secure their interests in Ukraine. He was the reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain.

    Let us not forget that Russia did this very same thing in Georgia and is still there. It is aery clear at this point that the old ex-KGB head and communist in Moscow have every intention of re-establishing the old Soviet Union. Meanwhile we have a clown in the White House that wants to unilaterally disarm and thinks the cold war ended. Guess what? Putin just stated it is back on, by invading Georgia and now the Ukraine. What country is next?

    March 2, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Tommy G

    Vladimir Putin saw Obama in those soccer mom jeans andit told him everything he needed to know about Obama. And after 5 years of Obama hot air, bluster, red line after red line, I promise I'm going to get really really mad if you do something, Putin knows he is dealing with an incompetent amateur. Obama has weakened this country around the world in a way we may never be able to recover from. And I'm sure Iran, North Korea and China are taking very good notes.

    March 2, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  17. beentheredonethat

    The world will give Putin Crimea just as they gave Hitler the Sudentenland. Similar results likely to follow.

    March 2, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. Smart Guy

    Kerry is a blabber mouth, Obama is a wimp. Putin respects Putin. Crimea is of national interest to Russie. The US and the rest of the world can do nothing, they are too weak due to liberal leadership.

    March 2, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Jim

    Ukraine is just too important to Russia. Just look at Ukraine's territorial exposure to Europe. This is Putin's opportunity to get it under control. So, it will be a mess ahead. For the US, the best strategy is "no boots on the ground." Let the Germans deal with it.

    March 2, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. GregN

    Russia is not doing anything wrong. He hasn't crossed any lines in my opinion. He has not advancced is military beyond the Crimean region. He has not proclaimed war. He has not attacked one person. Has not fired one shot.
    Now I guess the USA just wants this to turn into a civil war so they can jump on in with their big mouths and side with the loosely formed new Udraniana government? That's when it's okay to bring in the military right? That's how we justify our constant colonization of other countries? We enourcage civil discord, anarchy, chaos and collapse so that we can send in our mighty military. That's what some in the government and military are hoping for- another civil war in another country so we can play with our big, bad, military toys that we spend billions on. We WANt to be in Ukraine as a military force and that's okay right according to our freakin' foolish government. Putin goes in to one small Russian loyalist region and he's supposedly breaking all laws, accords, doctrines, resolutions? Get over yourselves America. You've caused more problems globally in the last 5 years than any administration ever has. And you are losing respect, admiration and loyalty every single day that you act like brats who are 4 years old. Immature. And America is not advancing and growing. It is stagnating and regressing and some, mostly within the government and military, are turning into very uncivilized, frenzied, foolish, foolish beings. It's like half are on bad steroids, the other half on crystal meth.

    March 2, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  21. Gurgyl

    @Donna, yes, we had clowns, Reagan, Bush. You are right. Now at least you have Healthcare. Be glad. Remember Georgia was invaded in Bush era.

    March 2, 2014 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. Deserttrek

    so Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney were Cold War idiots? Putin is a gangster but he knows his country and people and knows how to deal with small time wanna be's like Kerry and bobo. the shrillary reset was the first indication of hardball. when will libs realize everything cannot be solved by talk and all people do not agree with liberals.

    March 2, 2014 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Where was Kerry the Peacekeeper when USA started war operations in Grenada, Panama, Yugoslavia, Afganistan, Iraq, Libya? What democracy can be if goverment was overthrown by the armed crowd and legitimate president must leave country? Did you see that 50% of the country doesn't support new "goverment" and ask Russia for help?

    March 2, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. internetisgay

    Funny how everyone who told Obama to stay out of Syria are now up in arms that he's not doing anything about this. We already made it clear that we don't want any more wars. And now we want World War 3? No thanks. Let Russia have Kiev.

    March 2, 2014 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. Vladimir

    Where was Kerry the Peacekeeper when USA started war operations in Grenada, Panama, Yugoslavia, Afganistan, Iraq, Libya? What democracy can be if goverment was overthrown by the armed crowd and legitimate president must leave country? Did you see that 50% of the country doesn't support new "goverment" and ask Russia for help? How USA can speak about "aggression" when USA's hands tainted blood?

    March 2, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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