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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More