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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid