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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid