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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora