The United States supports the efforts by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to create a democratic, unified, and peaceful Ukraine. Indeed, since taking office, President Poroshekno has implemented a unilateral ceasefire to allow separatists to lay down their arms; he offered to create a safe passage for Russian fighters to return to their country; and he proposed amnesty to Russian-backed separatists who have not committed serious crimes.
President Poroshenko has also put on the table a comprehensive and just peace plan. In sum, said U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, “he and the Ukrainian people have done everything that could be expected in an effort to make peace in accordance with international law and norms.”
But Russia must do its part. Over the past week, Ambassador Power said “we have seen more contradictory behavior on the part of Russia. On the one hand, President [Vladimir] Putin expressed his support for President Poroshenko’s ceasefire.”
Yet on the other hand, Russia has recently returned a significant number of its troops to the border, and has ramped up the flow of weapons, incuding tanks and missiles, and material to separatists, an increasing number of who are Russian citizens with no personal connection to eastern Ukraine. President Putin has also placed Russian troops on combat alert and launched a new surprise military exercise.
”So, while the United States welcomes the more conciliatory rhetoric from President Putin, these words must be reflected in a genuine shift in the facts on the ground. It is time for Russia to be a part of the political solution to the crisis in Ukraine. “But if it persists with these escalatory tactics,” warned Ambassador Power, “it must face additional costs.”