News / Europe

Kerry: Russian Troops Near Ukraine Create 'Climate of Fear'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Paris, March 30, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference at the U.S. ambassador's residence in Paris, March 30, 2014.
VOA News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Russia Sunday to pull back thousands of troops massed along the Ukraine border, saying those forces are creating a "climate of fear" inside Ukraine that does not support diplomatic dialogue.
 
Kerry spoke to reporters late Sunday, after four hours of talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Paris.
 
The U.S. top diplomat said both Moscow and Washington are in agreement on the right of Ukrainians to decide their own future.  He also said both sides made suggestions on how to de-escalate the crisis that was spawned by Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

But Kerry also stressed that he made clear to Lavrov that  "the United States still considers the Russian actions to be illegal and illegitimate.''
 
At a separate news conference, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said he has "agreed to work with the Ukrainian government and people to achieve progress in rights of minorities and linguistic rights."
 
Kerry said he is returning to Washington to confer with President Barack Obama and that more bilateral talks will take place in the near future. But he emphasized that no decisions on Ukraine's future will be made without the input of the Kyiv government.
 
Moscow has repeatedly sought to assure the West that it has no plans to send its forces into Ukraine, but Lavrov did not offer further comment on the military presence near the eastern and southern Ukraine borders. Nor did he offer further direct comment on proposals for direct talks between Moscow and Kyiv.
 
U.S. officials estimate Russia has massed 40,000 troops close to Ukraine's borders, while Kyiv says the Russian buildup is closer to 100,000 military personnel. 
 
Ukraine's immediate neighbors - former Soviet republics that gained independence with the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union - have condemned the Crimean annexation as well as the mounting pressure on Kyiv from the Russian troop presence. 
 
The United Nations also has condemned the annexation, while the United States and its European allies have begun imposing economic sanctions against Moscow.
 
Relations between Russia and Ukraine plummeted nearly a month ago, when Russian forces moved into Crimea. A short-notice referendum quickly followed, resulting in a vote declaring the peninsula’s secession from Ukraine and move toward integration with Russia.
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian parliament subsequently annexed Crimea, making it part of the Russian Federation.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Boltar from: Scandinavia
March 31, 2014 12:40 AM
There were no such thing as a post cold war, it was just an illusion. Meanwhile the russians had time to lick their wounds, gain money from west to rebuild a new modern russian army. Like the rise of the Fenix bird in greek mythologhy.


by: danglan from: Vietnam
March 30, 2014 7:26 PM
US need makes a new cold War era for Russia. It is best.


by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
March 30, 2014 12:31 PM
None of BRICS supports this so called UN resolution.
If India, China and Brazile don't support this resolution, then it's not overwhelming.
VOA why didn't you report this? Oh, it's a propaganda machine only!


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
March 30, 2014 12:04 PM
Crimea, a separate part of the Russian state, just like Alaska? That's good for the superpowers. USA should tell us how it gained Alaska over Canada, even as we know our history as concerns the southern border with Mexico. No talking! Lavrov says Russia has no further intentions inside Ukraine but at the same times tells Kerry Russia wants true federalism in Ukraine that will accord the regional units greater autonomy. If this is not achieved, Russia's mission in the region continues to run riot like a bastard electron. From Lavrov's comment: "I don't want to say that sanctions are ridiculous and that we couldn't care less, these are not pleasant things'', if I underline the word 'ridiculous', I should think I have made all the meaning that Lavrov is trying to convey to his audience without trying to be harsh - if only polite insult. I feel also there is something in between that pains Lavrov inside how the US is playing its card; and that may not be too far from seeking a reciprocity of Russia's benevolence over Syria and Iran, to be compensated in Ukraine. At pain here means Russia does not as yet understand how selfish and self centered USA can be in breaking bonds and compromises if someone's (Obama's, Kerry's, or Rice's) job has to be on the line on account. Unless the meeting at the Russian embassy in Paris finds a compromise, the Russian hope for a diplomatic solution may change. These are things formerly discussed over phones, but the likes of Edward Snowden and Julie Assange have badly dented that system so that meetings now have resumed their supremacy. At the end of the day, the solution will be a function of reason, and I think once again Lavrov will be able to show the USA the way out of what the US authorities see right now as a dilemma. After all it has taken Russia little or nothing so far to shift the argument from Crimea to East Ukraine, Diplomatically also, Lavrov is expected to be able to guide Kerry through the diplomatic route to the favorable solution that can make everyone to respect Russian diplomacy. So far we can count on diplomatic victory that the superpowers are talking with their mouth not through the barrel of their guns. We hope it remains so - that is, when USA pays its debt of compromises to Russia and allow the sleeping dog to lie.


by: michael wind
March 30, 2014 9:41 AM
lavrov does not care about some of the miniscule ideal sanctions of some folks,......russia will protect russians living in ukraine and yes there are troops in ukraine to protect russian gas lines,.......when russia is ready it will be fast.


by: Traian Basescu from: Bucharest
March 30, 2014 9:30 AM
Alaskans should hold a referendum,
then Hawaii,
then ...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid