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Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine Says Crimea Should Stay In Ukraine

Press Conference
Geoffrey R. Pyatt
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine
March 10, 2014


[Excerpts from news conference]

The very strong view is that there is no military solution to this crisis. This is a crisis which needs to be solved diplomatically. The Ukrainian government, the Ukrainian military forces in Crimea have an exceptional record so far of resisting the provocations that are clearly being undertaken by the Russian forces on the ground trying to drive toward some kind of a military confrontation.

Crimea is and should remain a part of Ukraine. Discussion over. That said, I have been encouraged to see comments from Prime Minister Yatseniuk and others indicating that the government, the Ukrainian government is open to enhance levels of autonomy for the people in Crimea. But this is something that (a) Ukrainians have to decide within their own constitutional framework, and (b) it can't happen under the barrel of a gun.

We are very interested in working with the government to support its investigations of those financial crimes. And we have already on the ground here in Ukraine experts from the FBI, the Department of Justice and the Department of Treasury who are working with their Ukrainian counterparts to support the Ukrainian investigation.

We want Ukraine to have stable, healthy relationship with Russia. Energy, energy imports, and energy transit is obviously a part of that. Russia is considerably dependent on Ukraine to get its own gas to European markets. But we want it to be a healthy relationship which means it needs to be transparent, it needs to be free of corruption, it needs to be driven by market and European principles.

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