Kerry condemns Russia's 'invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory'
March 1st, 2014
08:16 PM ET
8 years 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.


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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. newshound

    We do NOT want to go into WW3 with this bunch in the White House.

    March 2, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. Champ

    What's good for the goose, is good for the gander...

    March 2, 2014 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. Zeke

    We will see if Kerry and Obama handle this as badly as they did Syria. This looks more and more like the Munich Agreement in 1938. Putin is saying the Russians in the Ukraine are being mistreated and Hitler in 1938 said the Germans in the Sudetenland area of Czechoslovakia were being mistreated. Soon Czechoslovakia did not exist anymore thanks to the Munich Agreement and the wishy washy response of the European allies. In another year 1939, WWII was in full swing.

    March 2, 2014 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. Susan

    This would be a good time for kerry to keep his mouth shut.

    March 2, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. NickD

    When we tell Russia to stay out and they go in anyway, and we tell the people of Ukraine that we stand with them and do nothing, then we are telling world that our words are nothing but empty blather.

    The discord and divisiveness in Wasghington is destroying us. And at a time when our enimies are many and our friends are few we have to stand as one. But even if we can stand as one we need to choose our poublic words much more carefully and quit worrying about the next election cycle.

    March 2, 2014 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. dajowi

    I think Hillary Clinton has in just a few words summed up the effectiveness of all of Obama's appointments to the position of Secretary of State: "What difference (at this point) does it make?"

    March 2, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. FreedomStorm

    NOTHING shall deter the tyrant from his laser focus on his objective ... the destruction of America.

    March 2, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. noteasilyswayed

    The EU, UN and USA will make lots of speeches in the following days or weeks condemning the Russian military intervention; that is all that will be done. Russia basically will be calling the shots in Ukraine from here on out; I would not be surprised if they end up taking over Crimea before all's said and done.

    March 2, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. fledamerica

    And the violation of borders across the world by U.S. troops, CIA operatives, and unlawful and internationally condemned drone strikes are somehow of a higher morality than the potential Russian occupation of the Ukraine. The Ukrainian population share Russian ancestry and half of it's population has made publicly known their desire for Russian leadership. In every instance of American aggressive attacks and invasion, none of the countries in question contained any U.S. citizen's either proper or ancestral, nor has any land occupied by the U.S. publicly announced that half of the countries population (None in reality) desired American leadership. In 2014, I would have assumed that Kerry would have been armed with more believable and credible propaganda to try and glorify the position of Capital Hill.

    March 2, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. richrd lavigne

    Mr Kerry,
    Now that your agitators have returned home, do you fill sorry for the result?
    An european rumor: Since Russia has ajusted the Ukrainian dept for gaz at $3billions or they cut the gaz, you should offer to pay the $3bilion and ask Mr Poutine to come in America with his own agitators, MCCAIN style and to distribute the $3 billion to the 50 millions americans living on food stamps.
    It will be a good idea for Mr Poutine but do not do that because some millions of americans would make the revolution in USA.
    But USA need a revolution

    March 2, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. billmelater1

    I can see Obama is taking this very seriously since Obama Skips National Security Team Meeting on Russia, Ukraine. What we need is a real leader instead we have a no show president and puppet we call a secretary of state.

    March 2, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  12. tupperhouse

    So when the elected government of Grenada was overthrown Reagan sent in troops right away and took over the Island, how is this different?

    March 2, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Steve

    John, were you in favor of the Russian invasion before you were opposed?

    March 2, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. George Bush

    Lets impose a "no fly" zone over Ukraine. I am sure we won't be challenged by any of the Russian Air Force

    March 2, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Scot B

    This reads like something out of a Tom Clancy novel; Russia attempts to annex part of Ukraine–which is strategically important to Russia's Navy–then pushes Ukraine to ultimately join NATO and seal its ties to the west. Why haven't UN troops been deployed to Crimean border with Russia to stop the influx of Russian troops and deter the Russians? Ukraine's military is not up to holding off the Russians, but if they can solidify their alliance with NATO, then they might well be bigger than the Russians.

    I'm surprised that nobody in the White House seems to recognize Russia's annexation of its neighboring republics... Remember Georgia? Chechnya? All under Putin's watch. Now Ukraine & Crimea. This man is playing brinksmanship against leaders in the west who have no stomach for it. Might as well send Neville Chamberlain to talk to Hitler again...

    March 2, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Scot B

    This reads like something out of a Tom Clancy novel; Russia attempts to annex part of Ukraine–which is strategically important to Russia's Navy–then pushes Ukraine to ultimately join NATO and seal its ties to the west. Why haven't UN troops been deployed to Crimean border with Russia to stop the influx of Russian troops and deter the Russians? Ukraine's military is not up to holding off the Russians, but if they can solidify their alliance with NATO, then they might well be bigger than the Russians.

    I'm surprised that nobody in the White House seems to recognize Russia's annexation of its neighboring republics... Remember Georgia? Chechnya? All under Putin's watch. Now Ukraine & Crimea. This man is playing brinksmanship against leaders in the west who have no stomach for it. Might as well send Neville Chamberlain to talk to Adolf again...

    March 2, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Scot B

    This reads like something out of a Tom Clancy novel; Russia attempts to annex part of Ukraine–which is strategically important to Russia's Navy–then pushes Ukraine to ultimately join NATO and seal its ties to the west. Why haven't UN troops been deployed to Crimean border with Russia to stop the influx of Russian troops and deter the Russians? Ukraine's military is not up to holding off the Russians, but if they can solidify their alliance with NATO, then they might well be bigger than the Russians.

    I'm surprised that nobody in the White House seems to recognize Russia's annexation of its neighboring republics... Remember Georgia? Chechnya? All under Putin's watch. Now Ukraine & Crimea. This man is playing brinksmanship against leaders in the west who have no stomach for it. Might as well send in Neville Chamberlain......

    March 2, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. barbara

    So where is the UN in all of this? How are they responding?

    March 2, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  19. The HAM

    Ha.... Empty threats... and Putin knows it... Egypt, Syria, Iran.... He laughs at us over vodka shots...

    March 2, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  20. Steven

    Am I the only one who is thinking Neville Chamberlain here?

    March 2, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  21. Dennis Iverson

    Kerry calls this invasion of a sovern country.Isn't this the same thing the United States did when we invaded Iraq on trumped up charges of "WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION" and killed thousands of Iraqis and American soldiers!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 2, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. Dan

    Now we know how Russia felt when we invaded Iraq in 2003 OR how they felt about us threatening to intervene in Syria. Unless there is authoritarian violence, on behalf of occupying Russia we should keep our mouths shut and let this play out. It is not WWIII like some posters are saying, it will not turn into it, however if we fray our partnership with Russia nothing good will come of it.

    March 2, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. Big Hot Cup Of Truth

    US Pres Obama and SOS Kerry are coming off as totally spineless and incompetent.
    Vladamir Puin is laughing at the USA while he invades Ukraine.

    March 2, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. Matt

    I can't believe that amount of posters that think a war with russia is a good idea. I guess they all want to die from thermo nuclear war fallout.

    March 2, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  25. menisino

    Obama & Kerry just don't get it. Putin is not listening to them. This tough talk waving a toothpick is a sad laughable joke.. Kerry it's time for you to just shut up. It is time for real actions..total isolation of economics for starters & it's time for the E.U. to carry their load....stop buying all gas/oil from Russia. From Afgan onwards they have others doing the lifting for them. No wonder Putin is behaving like the thug he is...today's little Napoleon. The west did quite well without the Russia in the cold war. Russia needs friends, they need the west, they need us more than we need them...Wake up you "political dummies."

    March 2, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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