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We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States and the President of the European Council and President of the European Commission, join together today to condemn the Russian Federation’s clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in contravention of Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter and its 1997 basing agreement with Ukraine. We call on Russia to address any ongoing security or human rights concerns that it has with Ukraine through direct negotiations, and/or via international observation or mediation under the auspices of the UN or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We stand ready to assist with these efforts.We also call on all parties concerned to behave with the greatest extent of self-restraint and responsibility, and to decrease the tensions.We note that Russia’s actions in Ukraine also contravene the principles and values on which the G-7 and the G-8 operate. As such, we have decided for the time being to suspend our participation in activities associated with the preparation of the scheduled G-8 Summit in Sochi in June, until the environment comes back where the G-8 is able to have meaningful discussion.We are united in supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its right to choose its own future. We commit ourselves to support Ukraine in its efforts to restore unity, stability, and political and economic health to the country. To that end, we will support Ukraine’s work with the International Monetary Fund to negotiate a new program and to implement needed reforms. IMF support will be critical in unlocking additional assistance from the World Bank, other international financial institutions, the EU, and bilateral sources.
The White House has released a readout of President Obama's calls with British Prime Minister Cameron, Polish President Komorowski, and German Chancellor Merkel:
President Obama spoke separately this afternoon with Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Komorowski of Poland, and Chancellor Merkel of Germany. The leaders expressed their grave concern over Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, which is a breach of international law and a threat to international peace and security. The leaders stressed that dialogue between Ukraine and Russia should start immediately, with international facilitation as appropriate.
The leaders affirmed the importance of unity within the international community in support of international law and their support for the Government of Ukraine, including its territorial integrity and its efforts to move forward with elections in May so that the Ukrainian people can continue to determine their own future in this historic hour. The leaders also pledged to work together on a package of multilateral and bilateral financial assistance to help Ukraine as it pursues urgently needed reforms to stabilize its economy. The leaders agreed to continue to coordinate closely, including bilaterally, and through appropriate international organizations.
The President reaffirmed the United States’ longstanding and continuing commitment to security and democracy in Eastern Europe.
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A woman holds a sign during a protest march in support of peace in the Ukraine in Times Square in New York, March 2, 2014. Ukraine mobilized for war on Sunday and Washington threatened to isolate Russia economically, after President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade his neighbor in Moscow's biggest confrontation with the West since the Cold War. (Reuters/Carlo Allegri)
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, it’s an incredible act of aggression. It is really a stunning, willful choice by President Putin to invade another country. Russia is in violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia is in violation of its international obligations. Russia is in violation of its obligations under the UN Charter, under the Helsinki Final Act. It’s a violation of its obligations under the 1994 Budapest agreement. You just don’t, in the 21st century, behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext. So it is a very serious moment.
But it’s serious not in the context, Bob, of Russia-U.S. It’s serious in terms of sort of the modern manner with which nations are going to resolve problems. There are all kinds of other options still available to Russia. There still are. President Obama wants to emphasize to the Russians that there is a right set of choices that can still be made to address any concerns they have about Crimea, about their citizens, but you don’t choose to invade a country in order to do that.
QUESTION: Let me pin you down on that, sir. Specify it: Is the United States willing to impose sanctions if Russia doesn’t back down? Are you willing to go to Ukraine and show solidarity with the Ukrainians if Russia doesn’t back down?
SECRETARY KERRY: Absolutely. And the United States and the President is currently considering all options; they’re all on the table. We would call on Congress immediately to the degree that they are prepared to be helpful, that they immediately lay down with us an economic package in order to assist Ukraine. We think it’s very important for the international entities – the OSCE, the UN, NATO, the North Atlantic Council, the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which will meet tomorrow – all need to weigh in and I believe they will weigh in heavily.
QUESTION: So let me just pin you down on that. You’re saying that Congress is considering military aid to Ukraine. You want Congress to pass military aid to Ukraine. But do you want them to impose economic – economic – excuse me. Do you want them to impose economic sanctions on Russia?
SECRETARY KERRY: They’re – it may well come that we would have to engage in that kind of activity. Absolutely. I think all options are on the table. There’s no question but that Russia needs to understand this is serious. And we and the other friends and allies engaged in this are all deadly serious about this. You cannot behave this way in the 21st century and sit around the table of the normal entities and pretend that life is as usual. It is not going to be as usual, but we believe there is an alternative. We call on Russia to engage with the Government of Ukraine. We’re prepared to work very closely with Russia in order to address whatever legitimate concerns may exist. We believe there are many alternatives before you get to an invasion, and none of those have been tried at this point in time.
The North Atlantic Council condemns the Russian Federation’s military escalation in Crimea and expresses its grave concern regarding the authorization by the Russian Parliament to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine.
Military action against Ukraine by forces of the Russian Federation is a breach of international law and contravenes the principles of the NATO-Russia Council and the Partnership for Peace. Russia must respect its obligations under the United Nations Charter and the spirit and principles of the OSCE, on which peace and stability in Europe rest. We call on Russia to de-escalate tensions.
We call upon the Russian Federation to honor its international commitments, including those set out in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, the Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation between Russia and Ukraine of 1997, and the legal framework regulating the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, to withdraw its forces to its bases, and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine. We urge both parties to immediately seek a peaceful resolution through bilateral dialogue, with international facilitation, as appropriate, and through the dispatch of international observers under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Ukraine is a valued partner for NATO and a founding member of the Partnership for Peace. NATO Allies will continue to support Ukrainian sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference.
We emphasize the importance of an inclusive political process based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities and the rule of law, which fulfills the democratic aspirations of the entire Ukrainian people.
We met today, at Ukraine’s request, to consult in the NATO-Ukraine Commission. We intend to engage with Russia in the NATO-Russia Council.
In response to Ms Merkel's concern regarding the developments in Crimea and Ukraine as a whole, Vladimir Putin drew the Federal Chancellor's attention to the unrelenting threat of violence by ultra-nationalist forces, endangering the lives and legitimate interests of Russian citizens and the entire Russian-speaking population. It was stressed that the measures being taken by Russia correspond fully to the extraordinary current situation.
Mr Putin and Ms Merkel agreed to continue consultations both in the bilateral format (through the two nations' Foreign Ministries) and multilaterally to promote the stabilization of the situation in Ukraine.