News / Europe

Kerry to Russia: Stop Supporting Ukraine Separatists

  • Pro-Russia protesters storm the governor's business premises in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Pro-Russia protesters storm the governor's business premises in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian protesters gather to honor fallen comrades during fighting with pro-Ukrainian activists in Odessa on Friday, at the barricades in front of the administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Russia's presidential human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin watches as foreign military observers hug each other following their release in Slovyansk, eastern Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • Smoke billows from burning tires at a pro-Russian checkpoint with a Donetsk republic flag following an attack by Ukrainian troops in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, May 3, 2014.
  • A protester walks past a burning pro-Russian tent camp near the trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
  • An injured pro-Russian activist looks on during clashes with supporters of the Kyiv government in the streets of Odessa, Ukriane, May 2, 2014.
  • People wait to be rescued on upper levels of a trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
  • A pro-Russian separatist guards a checkpoint as tires burn in front of him, near the town of Slovyansk, Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
  • Pro-Russian gunmen listen to instructions from their commander (center) behind barricades in Slovyansk, May 2, 2014.
  • A pro-Russian rebel aims his rifle at a checkpoint near a Ukrainian airbase in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, May 2, 2014.
Latest images from Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is strongly condemning the continuing violence in Ukraine, and he says Russia will face tougher economic sanctions if it does not stop trying  to interfere with elections called by the Kyiv government. Kerry is on a trip through Africa; he spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Saturday about the situation in Ukraine. 

Secretary Kerry welcomed the release of seven OSCE inspectors who had been detained by pro-Russian militants in Ukraine but said many other steps need to be taken to reverse the sudden escalation of conflict between separatists and supporters of the Kyiv government.

Secretary Kerry spoke by telephone with Foreign Minister Lavrov while on a flight to the Democratic Republic of Congo. He said the U.S. and Russia both will be in touch with Swiss authorities to see whether and how the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe can do more to reduce tensions in Ukraine. He deplored violence by both sides, including those who carried out an arson attack in Odessa Friday that killed dozens of people.

As he arrived in Kinshasa, Congo's capital, Kerry said he told Lavrov that Russia must withdraw its support for separatists and assist in removing militants who are occupying government buildings in southern and eastern provinces of Ukraine.

"If those supported by Russia continue to interfere with the election, regrettably there will have to be additional sanctions including the possibility, the reality of sector sanctions," he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry's version of the Kerry-Lavrov talks, in a statement issued in Moscow, said Lavrov told Kerry that the U.S. should press Ukraine's government to immediately halt its military operations in southeast Ukraine.

Lavrov said he and Kerry agreed that efforts to broaden the OSCE's role in Ukraine are the right course to follow now.

In Ukraine Saturday, a senior government official said Kyiv's forces are continuing military operations in the country's east, where both separatists and government supporters are trading charges of "terrorism." Residents of Kramatorsk, 100 kilometers from Donetsk, a center of separatist activity, say fighting there was heavy Saturday.

Kerry said Russians, Americans, Ukrainians, and Europeans must share responsibility for the deteriorating situation and do everything in their power to "reduce the capacity" of militants and armed extremists to engage in violence" like the incidents seen this week in Odessa and Slovyansk.

Such attacks must end, Kerry said, adding that "everybody with any influence on any party" has an obligation to try to end the violence.

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Comment Sorting
by: gen from: Japan
May 04, 2014 10:44 AM
I don't understand.Why Mr.Kerry only say "Stop supprting the separatists ,Russia,." Even though what US did to Ukraine is to put money to the illeagal government for waging a civil war and US admits the resume of draft in might leads to more harsh and civil war.
Even though the condition of IMF loan haste waging a civil war.
But Mr.Kerry only say "Stop supporting the separatists,Russia".
I think there are lots of what he should say and should do. It is strange.
US seems not to want stoping a cicil war actually.It appeared that US expects and waits for Russian army's crossing the border.
It is like hearing "Please Russia invade Ukraine".It is only me?

by: meanbill from: USA
May 03, 2014 1:15 PM
The US never interferes in the politics of the western European countries - (BUT?) - the US interferes in other countries politics - (AND?) - whenever the US interferes in another countries politics, they bring violence and war - (and when they leave?) - they leave a lot of dead bodies and destruction, and never bring peace or democracy to the people or countries they politically interfered in? --- CRAZY isn't it?

by: Steve from: US
May 03, 2014 1:12 PM
Despite Kerry's beautiful blow dried hair there seems to be a dearth of gray matter beneath it. Mr. Obama has been less than forthcoming deflecting negative domestic progress with Ukraine a place where we have no business. Thew blood of innocent people is on the hands of both Kerry and the President as well as the EU which sought to gobble up Ukraine in it's mad dash to expand into Russia itself. Ill advised and historically naiive we are no approaching a possible major war; on ewe and the EU will lose and can ill afford in the face of domestic problems. Obama seems to not understand history and ditto for Kerry. Ukraine has been an integral part of the Rus peoples for centuries. The swastikas flying in Kiev are provocations that drew the inevitable. Look for Russian troops to restore law and order in eastern Ukraine soon. As for sanctions when the blowback is finished the west will be on the short end of the stick. Russia is not some little backwater country it is a huge country with an important economy whose energy sector alone is a cornerstone of western prosperity. Look for big troubles ahead as the west keeps up the propaganda against Russia and plunges into more troubles than it can bear.

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