Secretary of State John Kerry is urging Russia to commit to a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine by halting its military aid for the separatists and backing a negotiated peace. He made the comments during a visit to Kiev. (Feb. 5)
1. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko shaking hands with US Secretary of State John Kerry
2. Poroshenko and Kerry, the latter introduces the president to the US ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt and US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland
3. Poroshenko and Kerry and their delegations sit down
4. SOUNDBITE (English) John Kerry, Secretary of State:
"We are very hopeful that Russia will take advantage of our broad-based, uniform acceptance of the notion that there is a diplomatic solution that is staring everybody in the face. That is what we want. We want a diplomatic resolution, but we cannot close our eyes to tanks that are crossing the border from Russia and coming in to Ukraine. We cannot close our eyes to Russian fighters in unmarked uniforms crossing the border and leading individual companies of so-called separatists in battle."
PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE HANDOUT
5. Various of two delegations at table
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian President:
"Today we are facing another growing escalation of violence by terrorists directly supporting (supported) by Moscow, their refusal to fulfil the obligation on the Minsk agreement, their barbarian attack on the civilian population which led to multiple casualties every day."
7. Kerry and Poroshenko shaking hands and leaving press conference
Secretary of State John Kerry is urging Russia to commit to a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine by halting its military aid for the separatists and backing a negotiated peace. He made the comments during a visit to Kiev.
"We are very hopeful that Russia will take advantage of our broad-based, uniform acceptance of the notion that there is a diplomatic solution that is staring everybody in the face," Kerry said.
"That is what we want," he said.
Calling it a "very critical moment in our history," Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warmly welcomed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, on Thursday.
The leaders of France and Germany announced Thursday they were heading to Kiev and Moscow with a proposal to end the fighting. The surprise move appeared designed to head off U.S. considerations of giving Ukraine heavy weapons, something Europeans oppose out of fears of sparking an arms race.
In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin's aide welcomed the new European initiative and said the Kremlin was ready for a constructive discussion. In Brussels, NATO foreign ministers prepared to boost the military alliance's forces Thursday in response to the fighting and Russia's increased military forcefulness.
At least three people were killed in overnight shelling in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, local officials said Thursday. A Ukrainian military spokesman said five servicemen died and 29 others were wounded in fighting in the east in the last 24 hours.
Fighting between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces surged in January. The United Nations has sharply criticized both sides for indiscriminate shelling and urged a temporary truce to halt the fighting that has killed over 5,300 people since April.