News / Europe

US, Russia Disagree on Ukraine

US, Russia At Odds on Ukrainei
X
Scott Stearns
March 31, 2014 10:37 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Paris late Sunday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine as Washington and Moscow work toward a diplomatic solution to the standoff. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the French capital.
US, Russia At Odds on Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on Russia to pull back thousands of troops along the Ukraine border, saying those forces are creating a "climate of fear" that does not support diplomatic dialogue. Secretary Kerry met late Sunday in Paris with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
 
Despite different views of events that led to this crisis, Kerry said the United States and Russia agree on the importance of finding a diplomatic solution, and that both made suggestions about how to de-escalate the security and political situation.
 
"We also agreed to work with the Ukrainian government and the people to implement the steps that they are taking to ensure the following priorities: the rights of national minorities, language rights, demobilization and disarmament of irregular forces and provocateurs, an inclusive constitutional reform process and free and fair elections monitored by the international community," said Kerry.
 
Troop pullback

But Kerry added that any real progress must include a pullback of 40,000 Russian troops massing along Ukraine's borders.
 
"We believe that these forces are creating a climate of fear and intimidation in Ukraine. It certainly does not create the climate that we need for the dialogue," said Kerry.
 
Following four hours of talks, Lavrov held a separate Paris news conference and read from a nearly identical statement on their agreed priorities. But instead of Russian troops, he focused on decentralizing power to protect minorities -- concerns that Moscow has used to justify annexing the Crimean peninsula.
 
Within this framework, Lavrov said, all regions and political forces will have an equal voice to agree on which kind of political, economic, financial, social and religious traditions will be respected in different parts of the country.
 
Kerry said the United States still considers Russian actions in Crimea "illegal and illegitimate," and rejects any attempt to outline new federal structures without including provisional authorities in Kyiv.
 
"We will not accept a path forward where the legitimate government of Ukraine is not at the table. This principle is clear: No decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine," said Kerry.
 
U.S. officials said they saw in these talks some increased acknowledgement from Russia that Ukraine is meeting some of its concerns about minority rights in Russian-speaking areas. That may be a way for the Kremlin to justify pulling back some of its troops.
 
Intimidation

Washington now believes Moscow is using those troops not only to intimidate Ukrainians but also as a bargaining chip with Europe and the United States in the most serious East-West standoff since the end of the Cold War.
 
Western leaders are considering broader sanctions against Russia that could target its oil and gas industry. Obama administration officials have said it is clear those sanctions are biting, and equally clear that Russia does not want more of them.
 
In an interview on state television, Lavrov dismissed the Western visa bans and asset freezes on allies of President Vladimir Putin.
 
"I don't want to say they are laughable," Lavrov said. "I don't want to say that we don't care. They are unpleasant. But the fact they try to take those sanctions on a more personal level and present them as directed at certain people personally is clearly a desire to take revenge."
 
Following these talks, Kerry looks to keep the pressure on Russia at this week's meeting of NATO foreign ministers, with President Obama calling on the trans-Atlantic alliance to station more troops in countries "that may feel vulnerable."
 
Error rendering storify.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: jerry k from: Canada
March 31, 2014 12:51 PM
The Russians are not doing anything wrong as long as they remain on their soil. The U,S. has a lot of nerve telling someone else what to do. Stop being a world cop and maybe the rest if us in the world may actually start to respect the u.s. This is fear mongering, and you guys are very good at it. Fix your own problems at home and mind your own business.

In Response

by: Anonymous
March 31, 2014 3:47 PM
Ukrainian Soil.


by: JohnWV from: USA
March 31, 2014 7:03 AM
Two territorial conquests: Russia's of Ukraine and America-Israel's of Palestine. By civilian vote, Crimea preferred to join Russia and the remainder of Ukraine was interested. We have reduced Palestine to an open air prison and wreaked upon them rampant racism, hate, humiliation, cruelty, infrastructure destruction and casual killing civilian men, women and children for generations. America-Israel enjoys a near 100 to one kill ratio. However can Russia be sanctioned when we are not?


by: joe shmoe from: usa
March 31, 2014 6:03 AM
Of course an American politician knows all about the "climate of fear." Instead of worrying about these other countries maybe the American politicians should worry about issues at home like poverty,child hunger,excessive police abuses. We as Americans need to get our heads out of the sand and look around. From local to national politicians they're screwing the very people who gave them their positions. The draft dodgers of the 60's had the best idea, get out while you still can


by: Nexus789
March 31, 2014 12:13 AM
Where is the evidence? Satellite pics, etc. Don't believe anything they say.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid