Secretary Michael R. Pompeo spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on November 26 to discuss Russian aggression against Ukraine in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait. Secretary Pompeo reiterated strong U.S. support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, extending to its territorial waters. President Poroshenko expressed gratitude for U.S. statements of support and underscored the importance of Western nations remaining united in the face of Russian aggression. Secretary Pompeo agreed and expressed appreciation for Ukrainian steps to de-escalate the situation with Russia.
In a statement to the press, Secretary Pompeo said, “The United States condemns this aggressive Russian action. We call on Russia to return to Ukraine its vessels and detained crew members, and to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters. We call on both parties to exercise restraint and abide by their international obligations and commitments. We urge Presidents Poroshenko and Putin to engage directly to resolve this situation. In that regard, we reiterate our support for the Normandy Four format.”
On November 26, the United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting on Ukraine, during which U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley called on Russia to respect its international obligations and to de-escalate the tension it has created. Ambassador Haley said, “Impeding Ukraine’s lawful transit through the Kerch Strait is a violation under international law. It is an arrogant act that the international community must condemn and will never accept.”
The United States supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters, as well as the right of its vessels to traverse international waters. As stated in our Crimea Declaration, the United States rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea.
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