News / Europe

Kerry: Russia Must Prove Commitment to Ukraine Peace

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, addresses Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, left, as NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen listens at a NATO meeting in Brussels June 25, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, addresses Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, left, as NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen listens at a NATO meeting in Brussels June 25, 2014.
VOA News

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday Russia's leader must prove he is fully committed to peace in eastern Ukraine through actions, not just words, but the United States and its European allies are not ready to impose new sanctions on Moscow.

Speaking in Brussels, where he attended a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, Kerry said it is "critical" for President Vladimir Putin to "publicly" call for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine to disarm. He also said Putin must stop the flow of fighters and weapons, including "tanks and rocket launchers," across Russia's border with Ukraine.

"We are not announcing a new round of sanctions today but we are going to continue to take steps to prepare in the event that the circumstances on the ground warrant those sanctions,” Kerry said, according to Reuters. “So, we are coordinating with our European partners in order to prepare for that."

He said Washington is working with European governments on preparing new sanctions, should they be necessary.

The European Union and the United States imposed sanctions against certain Russian individuals and companies earlier this year after Moscow's annexation of Crimea and, later, for its involvement in the unrest in eastern Ukraine. 

The United States has threatened sanctions on Russia's financial, defense and high-tech industries as more Russian military equipment has flowed into Ukraine.

Permission withdrawn

In Moscow Wednesday, Russia's upper house of parliament voted to withdraw permission for Russian troops to go into Ukraine, fulfilling a request made by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday to cancel that permission.

Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, hailed Putin's request as a "practical step" toward peace.

Ukraine's foreign minister also applauded the measure. But, Pavlo Klimkin said at a NATO news conference in Brussels, "we need other positive steps also, like support of the comprehensive (peace) plan by the president, by Russia, and we need of course effective control at the border ...  

“And of course it is critical to undertake a number of very urgent measures to build more trust, like releasing hostages," Reuters reported Klimkin as saying.

Klimkin specifically called for the release of eight international monitors for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, captured in late May along with a Ukrainian interpreter.

NATO skeptical

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 25, 2014.NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 25, 2014.
x
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 25, 2014.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, June 25, 2014.

Meanwhile, the head of NATO said he sees no signs that Russia is respecting its international commitment regarding Ukraine, and added that meetings Wednesday among NATO foreign ministers will address building Ukraine's military capabilities.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday in Brussels that the foreign ministers, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, will "review" relations with Russia and decide what to do next.

Russia could face tougher sanctions from NATO countries if it fails to comply with requests to help end the violence between Ukraine loyalists and Russian separatists within Ukraine's borders.

Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in March sparked several rounds of U.S. and European economic sanctions against senior Russian officials.

At NATO’s summit of foreign ministers, Kerry and his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, stressed the importance of the relationship between their two countries.

"Turkey is such a key partner in so many ways but particularly given what is happening in Syria and now in Iraq with ISIL," Kerry said after a handshake with Davutoglu, the Associated Press reported.

Davutoglu also acknowledged Turkey’s proximity to southern Ukraine across the Black Sea.

He said it was time for the U.S. and Turkey “to consult more frequently, act together as two strategic allies and that cooperation will continue in all fields," the AP reported.  

Leaders consult

Meanwhile, in a phone call Wednesday, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany agreed the OSCE hostages in eastern Ukraine should be released immediately, the AP reported.

The news service cited German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, as saying the leaders also agreed upon the need to oversee a Ukraine cease-fire and monitor the country’s border with Russia. There was no word on how that would be achieved.

In meeting with Germany's parliament, Merkel had indicated her desire for Putin to actively support the cease-fire scheduled to run out Friday.

"Progress is slow,” she told legislators, according to Reuters. "Diplomatic solutions are always preferable but, if nothing else works, sanctions can be put back on the agenda.''

On Tuesday, Putin had insisted that, with the cease-fire, Ukraine should open talks on the rights of the country’s Russian speakers. Some have felt disenfranchised since the February removal of Viktor Yanukovich, the former pro-Russia president.

His successor, Poroshenko, said he expected to present a bill Thursday to parliament on increased regional autonomy.

But the peace process has come under fire, given continued fighting.

Copter shot down

On Tuesday, Ukraine said pro-Russian separatists near the Russian border shot down a Ukrainian military helicopter, killing at least nine servicemen.

The downing near the eastern city of Slovyansk, a rebel stronghold, came less than a day after rebels announced a temporary cease-fire in their push to gain autonomy from the Kyiv government. The truce was to have run parallel to a weeklong cease-fire declared by Kyiv on Friday.

The status of the Ukrainian government truce remained unclear late Tuesday.  But Poroshenko, in a statement, said rebels had violated their own peace offering. He also ordered government forces to open fire "without hesitation" if attacked.

NATO has accused Russia of supporting the separatists in Ukraine, but Russia denies it.

In New York Tuesday, senior United Nations human rights official Ivan Simonovic warned the U.N. Security Council that the situation in eastern Ukraine is rapidly deteriorating. He said 423 people were killed in fighting in the east between April 15 and June 20, and said the cross-border flow of arms and Russian recruits to the region is increasing.

  • Pro-Russian fighters guard their military unit in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, June 27, 2014.
  • A just-released member of OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine gets out of a vehicle next to Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, Donetsk, Ukraine, June 26, 2014.
  • A man sorts donated clothes at a former concert hall converted into a center for collecting humanitarian aid for refugees in Donetsk, Ukraine, June 26, 2014.
  • A man says goodbye to his relatives as they prepare to cross the border into Russia at the checkpoint in Izvaryne, Luhansk region, eastern Ukraine, June 26, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian separatists man a road checkpoint outside the town of Lysychansk in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine, June 24, 2014.
  • A coal miner walks at Privilnyanska coal mine damaged by shelling in the town of Pryvillya in Luhansk, Ukraine, June 24, 2014.
  • People block a car carrying Russian Ambassador in Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and Ukrainian lawmaker Nestor Shufrich after a meeting with leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic in Donetsk, Ukraine, June 23, 2014.
  • People with their faces covered take part in a pro-Ukrainian anti-separatist rally near the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, June 22, 2014.
  • An activist from a pro-Ukrainian radical youth group stands in a front of riot police outside the Russian embassy in Kyiv, June 22, 2014.
  • Riot police protect an office of the Russian Sberbank after people attacked it with the stones in Kyiv, June 22, 2014.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: jerry camp from: US
June 26, 2014 11:39 AM
Kerry is wrong.Russia does not must prove to US/Ukraine nothing.Why?Jus he said so?


by: We_Wont_Get_Fooled_Again from: GTown
June 25, 2014 1:19 PM
One has to be very naïve to take Russian Parliament’s vote at face value. DNR and LNR are “states” in Eastern Ukraine that are run by Russian operatives and supplied with weapons from Russia. Putin will simply claim that his forces are entering these “independent states” at their request, but not Ukraine. The same happened in Crimea where Russian troops put on their insignia once Crimea held an independence vote at gun point. Until then they posed as “self-defense volunteer forces”. As long as weapons and paramilitaries are flowing across the border there is no reason to believe Putin. Look at actions, disregard the rhetoric!


by: meanbill from: USA
June 25, 2014 11:59 AM
CONFUSION? -- "Confuse your enemy, by not telling them what you plan, and let your enemy guess on what your plans are, and get your enemy to expose their plans and demands to you, so you can better prepare your own battle plans to defeat them" -- (and) -- "Act like you are withdrawing when planning to attack, and act like you are planning to attack when withdrawing" .. "The Art of War" .. by Sun Tzu?

CRAZY isn't it? -- The US, EU, and NATO countries didn't read "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu, or they didn't understand what they read, if they read it?


by: Donald Fraser Miles from: Elliot Lake, Canada
June 25, 2014 8:45 AM
The Ukraine situation is certainly unstable. However, the Russian parliament's revocation of use of force in Ukraine bodes well. Putin's personality is a key factor in evaluating future and current risks.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid