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

    Forget the U.N., it's useless. It's all & I mean all the E.U. including many of the free loafers to make good & stop, asap , from financially helping out Russia by purchasing their gas/oil.. Recall all ambassadors & totally isolate this commie regime of Putin's Russia. Why listen to one lie after another from these compulsive liars? What is the benefit? You are dealing with a thug, who has no principles , no values. Not a shot needs to be fired but swift action on all other options must be acted upon....NOW... Russia stands alone...let them learn the lesson for all future generations.

    March 2, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  2. anonymous

    the 3am phone calls keep coming and coming and obama proves over and over again he is unwilling to answer or deaf to the world around him. his isolationist approach to world affairs invites exactly what you are seeing in the ukraine. and now he wants to downsize our military to pre-wwii days and that will be the green light for other bad actors on the world stage to act up. actors like north korea, iran and possibly china.

    March 2, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. jeff

    So it's ok for the US to invade Iraq but the Russians can't?

    March 2, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. just asking

    and when putin decides to invade poland to protect all the ethnic russians living there, will we all say not a problem, take it?

    March 2, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  5. Raymond Hiresh

    Israel is also in violation of international law. If the USA has the power to pressure Russia to withdraw, how come Kerry is unable to stop Israel from even building settlements in occupied Palestinian territories? How can he criticize Putin while welcoming in the next days the PM of Israel with his record 60 years of occupation of Palestinian territories.

    March 2, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  6. Dayton Raben

    Does anyone remember what USA has done? Granada, Panama, American Indian treatys? I believe we sent troops to protect American citizens............Isn't Russia doing the same??

    March 2, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Jim Thompson

    So every problem internationally has to have a violent statement from us, a John McCain moment. It went so well in Iraq, Afghanistan, and so many more. Who gets to pay for that kind of thinking? Not John McCain or the GOP. Average Americans. So take your time, Mr. President. Don't jump in to show that we can still be a bully too. Find a better way to make Putin suffer from him egregious choices that shame him to his core, without the use of a rifle mentality. He is wrong in taking military action, But he is stupid to think that will go unnoticed or unpunished. Find a way Mr. President to make Mr. Putin feel shame.

    March 2, 2014 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
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