April 26, 2014 State Department Press Corps, //
Secretary Kerry called Foreign Minister Lavrov this morning to discuss the ongoing efforts to remove chemical weapons from Syria. While noting that these efforts have resulted in the removal of 92 percent of Syria’s declared CW stockpile, the Secretary stressed the need to complete the removal process. He also expressed strong concern about the reports of a recent attack using a toxic chemical, likely chlorine, and told Foreign Minister Lavrov the United States plans to continue consultations with the OPCW and the UN about these reports in an effort to determine the facts.
On Ukraine, the Secretary urged Russian support without preconditions for the efforts of the OSCE and the Government of Ukraine to liberate the Vienna Document inspectors and their Ukrainian guides who are being held hostage by pro-Russian separatists in Slovyansk. The Secretary again underscored Ukrainian efforts to pass an amnesty bill in the Rada, to promote broad and deep constitutional reform across the country, and to contain the very dangerous and violent separatists in Slovyansk. He called on Russia to publicly support Ukraine's efforts rather than denigrate them.
He also expressed continued concern that Russia's provocative troop movements on Ukraine's border, its support for separatists and its inflammatory rhetoric are undermining stability, security and unity in Ukraine.