Ukrainian crisis: Kerry says Russia on wrong side of history


kerryWashington, Mar 19 (PTI) : The US has said Russian President Vladimir Putin was on the “wrong side of history” as it warned him of the consequences over annexing Crimea “illegally” despite international opposition against it.

“The President (Putin) may have his version of history, but I believe that he and Russia, for what they have done, are on the wrong side of history,” Secretary of State John Kerry said while commenting on the Ukrainian crisis.

“I was really struck and somewhat surprised and even disappointed by the interpretations in the facts as they were articulated by the President,” Kerry said yesterday soon after Putin signed a treaty claiming the Black Sea region of Crimea as Russian territory.

The White House said Russia’s move to annex Ukrainian province Crimea has badly affected the credibility and international stature of Moscow.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also warned Russia to be ready to face the consequences of annexing Crimea “illegally”.

“Sanctions will increase. Designations will be forthcoming. So it’s hard for me to put a pin on what the ongoing consequences of that kind of action would be.

“What I can say without question is that this action, the results of the referendum, and the attempt to annex a region of Ukraine illegally will never be recognised by the United States or the international community,” he asserted.

The White House said it is looking at the international community, including India, to condemn Russia’s action as the Obama Administration intensified its global effort to garner support for Ukraine.

Putin, facing the prospect of international isolation in the wake of its action, yesterday explained the situation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who underlined India’s position on “unity and territorial integrity” of countries and hoped a diplomatic solution would be found to the issue.

Singh expressed the hope that all sides would exercise restraint and work together “constructively to find political and diplomatic solutions that protect the legitimate interests of all countries in the region and ensured long-term peace and stability in Europe and beyond.”

Even as Putin called Singh to explain his position on Ukraine, US officials would not tell the level of its outreach with India; with whom the Obama Administration is building strategic partnership.

But White House officials did indicate that the US wants India to condemn the Russian military action in Crimea.

“We have been consulting closely with our partners and allies in Europe and the G7 on Ukraine but also with other nations around the world. I don’t have any specific conversations to read out for you with India, but obviously we are looking to the entire international community to condemn Russia’s action and to support Ukraine,” Laura Lucas Magnuson, spokesperson of the National Security Council, told PTI.

Over the past few weeks, the top American leadership, including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Kerry, has been reaching out to its friends, allies and key global players against the Russian action in the Crimean region of Ukraine.

Following a telephonic conversation between Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday, the White House said the two leaders condemned Russia’s move to annex Crimea and have agreed to send international monitors to Ukraine immediately.

“The leaders condemned Russia’s moves to formally annex Crimea, which is a violation of international law, and noted there would be costs,” the White House said.




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