An Update on the Situation in Ukraine

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
April 24, 2014

This evening, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a statement on the situation in Ukraine.  The Secretary provided this update one week after the United States, the European Union, Russia, and Ukraine met in Geneva, where the parties met to improve security conditions and find political solutions to the conflict threatening the sovereignty and unity of Ukraine.

The Secretary said, "...One week later, it is clear that only one side, one country, is keeping its word.  And for anyone who wants to create gray areas out of black, or find in the fine print crude ways to justify crude actions, let’s get real -- the Geneva agreement is not open to interpretation.  It is not vague.  It is not subjective.  It is not optional.  What we agreed to in Geneva is as simple as it is specific.

"We agreed that all sides would refrain from violence, intimidation, and taking provocative actions.  We agreed that illegal groups would lay down their arms and that, in exchange for amnesty, they would hand over the public buildings and spaces that they occupied.  We agreed that to implement these objectives – and this is important, to implement this – monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe would have unfettered access to parts of Ukraine where they were needed most.  And we agreed that all parties would work to create that access and to provide help to the OSCE in order to do this.  We agreed that the OSCE would report from the ground whether the rights, security, and dignity of Ukrainian citizens was being protected."

Secretary Kerry continued, "...Following today's threatening movement of Russian troops right up to Ukraine's border, let me be clear:  If Russia continues in this direction, it will not just be a grave mistake, it will be an expensive mistake.  Already the international response to the choices made by Russia's leaders is taking its toll on Russia's economy."

The Secretary concluded, "Seven days, two opposite responses, and one truth that cannot be ignored:  The world will remain united for Ukraine.  So I will say it again.  The window to change course is closing.  President Putin and Russia face a choice.  If Russia chooses the path of de-escalation, the international community -- all of us -- will welcome it.  If Russia does not, the world will make sure that the cost for Russia will only grow.  And as President Obama reiterated earlier today, we are ready to act."

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John D.
California, USA
May 4, 2014
Let us not forget most recent history. Many Russians were against Vladimir Putin's 2nd usurpation of power in 2012, with throngs of demonstrators protesting against it on the streets of Moscow and other cities in Russia only to be quashed while the rest of the world watched ideally by, doing virtually nothing... The problem with our (US) policy with respect to Russia today is that it is based on the premise that Vladimir Putin and his current regime is even legitimate in the first place. It is not. Vladimir Putin is the current illegitimate leader of Russia, who was able to rig elections and usurp power over the Russian people and should have, and should be, treated as a rouge usurper from 2012 on-wards. He is by all accounts a bully dictator and demagogue with no issue whatsoever to use his apparatchik to quell internal dissent, and if necessary, put his opponents in jail or even kill his own people. This is not a person, nor a regime, to even deal with diplomatically, nor in matters of economy. Russia today is a rouge State. The leadership in Russia today is not a legitimate regime to mollify with overtures of peace or use of sticks and carrots or anything else. Russia today is among one of the most corrupt Nations on the planet with an absolute disdain of US power, the American people, our way of life and our freedom. To Vladimir Putin, the US is enemy #1. Free peoples of the world should not have to wait until Putin grossly tramples upon his own people or missteps on others as he has done with the annexation of Crimea and his continued malfeasance in Ukraine before he meets his match. The leadership in Russia today is a regime to ostracize, discount, and to do everything within our power to make irrelevant in every imaginable way possible, until there is a regime change. The start of the regime change is not within Russia (unfortunately) nor from the White House nor US State Department talk, nor anywhere else you might normally assume it could be…. The start of the regime change in Russia and the end of the Vladimir Putin era and its malfeasance to all things that are right for free peoples of the world is completely and overwhelmingly in the decisions made within the US Treasury Department.... While Vladimir Putin and his regime outwardly scoffs of the implications of limited targeting of sanctioned cronies, he, and his cronies are well aware of the massively significant impact of targeting what outsiders may assume insignificant: Bank Rossiya and affiliates. Vladimir Putin and his regime know quite well this is only a small step on the way of dismantling the entire Russian economy and exposure to unprecedented levels of internal corruption of his regime with it. We should spare no efforts to rid the world of demagogues and corrupted Nations that will do everything within their power to promote hate and oppression and counter everything we as freedom loving peoples stand for. The way forward is through the US Treasury Department and Title III of the Patriot Act among other powers.... Whether the use of these powers are perceived as overly geopolitical or not, the time is nigh to unfold what has been learned through over a decade of investigating Russian banks and the tremendous level of corruption. This tool of supreme suasion should have been used with when Putin usurped power. It's still not too late. It's time to pull the trigger...


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