In a speech on the South Lawn of the White House, President Barack Obama gives a speech addressing Russia’s political and military infiltration of Ukraine. He announces new widespread sanctions on Russia by both the United States and the European Union.
Russia and its proxies in Ukraine have failed to cooperate with the investigation (of the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17) and to take the opportunity to pursue a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Ukraine. These Russian-backed separatists have continued to interfere in the crash investigation and to tamper with the evidence. They have continued to shoot down Ukrainian aircrafts in the region. And because of their actions, scores of Ukrainian civilians continue to die needlessly every day.
Meanwhile, Russia continues to support the separatists and encourage them, and train them, and arm them. Satellite images, along with information we’ve declassified in recent days, show that forces inside Russia have launched artillery strikes into Ukraine — another major violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty. And we have information that Russia continues to build up its own forces near the Ukrainian border and that more Russian military equipment, including artillery, armored vehicles, and air defense equipment, has been transferred across the border to these separatists.
Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, the United States has worked to build a strong international coalition to support Ukraine, its sovereignty, its territorial integrity, its right to determine its own destiny, and to increase the pressure on Russia for actions that have undermined Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and ability to make its own decisions. The core of that coalition is the United States and our European allies.
We are united in our view that the situation in Ukraine ought to be resolved diplomatically and that a sovereign, independent Ukraine is no threat to Russian interests. But we’ve also made it clear, as I have many times, that if Russia continues on its current path, the cost on Russia will continue to grow. And today is a reminder that the United States means what it says. And we will rally the international community in standing up for the rights and freedom of people around the world.
Today, and building on the measures we announced two weeks ago, the United States is imposing new sanctions in key sectors of the Russian economy: energy, arms, and finance. We’re blocking the exports of specific goods and technologies to the Russian energy sector. We’re expanding our sanctions to more Russian banks and defense companies. And we’re formally suspending credit that encourages exports to Russia and financing for economic development projects in Russia.
In the financial sector, the EU is cutting off certain financing to state-owned banks in Russia. In the energy sector, the EU will stop exporting specific goods and technologies to Russia, which will make it more difficult for Russia to develop its oil resources over the long term. In the defense sector, the EU is prohibiting new arms imports and exports and is halting the export of sensitive technology to Russia’s military users.
Read the full speech here: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/29/statement-president-ukraine
Photo: Public Domain