US urges 'respect' amid Ukraine transition

The United States on Wednesday urged “outside actors” in Ukraine’s region to respect the country’s sovereignty as it transitions to a new government.

“We urge outside actors in the region to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, to end provocative rhetoric and actions, to support democratically established transitional governing structures, and to use their influence in support of unity, peace, and an inclusive path forward,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. 

The statement came the same day Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered 150,000 troops to undergo a military exercise along Ukraine’s border — an unexpected move by Ukraine's eastern neighbor.

Although Carney didn’t mention Russia, he said the White House reminds all governments to be transparent about their military activities under the Vienna Document 2011 and other principles dictated by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

ADVERTISEMENT
The United States “strongly supports” Ukrainian leaders’ efforts to form an inclusive, multiparty government, Carney added.

“We call on Ukraine’s leaders to do their utmost to protect the security and human rights of all their citizens, including the rights of minorities, to recommit to honor the state’s international obligations, and to avoid divisive policies,” he said.

Just last week, reports said at least 100 Ukrainian protestors died as demonstrations in Ukraine’s capital of Kiev escalated. The United States threatened to impose sanctions against Ukraine's government as it executed a brutal police crackdown on protestors.

On Monday, as protests subsided, Ukraine’s parliament voted to transfer presidential powers to its speaker, and ousted President Viktor Yanukovich, who went into hiding. Efforts to form a new government are expected to begin on Thursday. 

President Obama and Putin spoke by phone for more than an hour on Friday about the need to help stabilize Ukraine’s economy.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced on Wednesday possible options the U.S. might employ that would help strengthen Ukraine's economy.

“The United States is continuing to consider a range of options, including loan guarantees, to support Ukraine economically. But no decision has been made and the next step is the formation of a multi-party, technical government. Once that government is formed we will begin to take immediate steps, in coordination with multilateral and bilateral partners, that could compliment an IMF package, to support Ukraine.”