U.S. pledges diplomacy, sanctions against Russia, security assistance to support Ukraine

10:40, 21 February 2019
Politics
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The U.S.calls on Russia to immediately release the over 70 Ukrainians it has unjustly imprisoned / Photo from UNIAN

"The United States will continue to draw on the range of measures we have at our disposal, including diplomacy, sanctions, and security assistance to support Ukraine and make clear to Russia that the only resolution the international community can accept is the end of Russia's efforts to undermine Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. We'll continue to coordinate our efforts with the many other countries supporting Ukraine," he said at the UN General Assembly's 67th plenary meeting on the situation in Ukraine.

Read alsoEU states, five more countries call on Russia to "immediately stop fuelling conflict" in Donbas

"Ukrainians have repeatedly shown that they will not be deterred from charting their own course and the United States will stand with the Ukrainian people until there is an end to Russian aggression," he said.

According to him, Russia attempts to justify its aggression against Ukraine by saying it is defending Russian-speaking people. "However, Russian aggression has been disastrous for the people living in those regions who have seen the humanitarian situation continue to deteriorate. The UN estimates that this conflict has taken over 10,000 lives. Beyond that toll, 1.5 million people have been internally displaced, and 3.5 million are in dire need of humanitarian assistance," he said.

He also called on Russia to free all hostages, political prisoners and prisoners of war.

"The United States calls on Russia to immediately release the over 70 Ukrainians it has unjustly imprisoned, including Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Volodymyr Balukh, and Ruslan Zeytullayev," he said.

According to him, Russia also created a hostile and dangerous environment for journalists and media workers, human rights defenders and defense lawyers to perform their work independently and without interference in Crimea. "Russia must ensure the proper and unimpeded access of international human rights monitoring missions and human rights non-governmental organizations to Crimea and cease any abuse against individuals there, without any discrimination," he said.

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