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Zero tolerance for forcibly altering status quo to top Abe-Obama rendezvous in a message aimed at restraining the behavior of Russia in Ukraine
25 April 2014 03:56

Joint Press Conference with President Obama and Prime Minister Abe of Japan

PRIME MINISTER ABE: With regard to various issues which the international society is facing, we had a heart-to-heart talk between Barack and myself.  On the situation in Ukraine, changing the status quo against the backdrop of coercion and intimidation would not be condoned.  We confirmed this point once again, and the importance to providing support to Ukraine and to cooperate between Japan and the G7 is something that we agreed on.

In The Hague the G7 meeting took place, and President Obama exerted strong leadership and the G7 was united in its approach toward Russia.  Annexation of Crimea in violation of the international laws would not be condoned -- that was the message which was generated to Russia.  We would continue to communicate information -- message under the leadership of President Obama to Russia. 

PRESIDENT OBAMA: With respect to Russia and Ukraine, we’ve been very clear about the fact that there’s not going to be a military solution to the problem in Ukraine, but we have already applied sanctions that have had an impact on the Russian economy and we have continued to hold out the prospect, the possibility to resolve this issue diplomatically.  There was some possibility that Russia could take the wiser course after the meetings in Geneva. So far, at least, we have seen them not abide by the spirit or the letter of the agreement in Geneva. 

And instead, we continue to see militias and armed men taking over buildings, harassing folks who are disagreeing with them, and destabilizing the region, and we haven’t seen Russia step up and discourage that. 

On the other side, you’ve seen the government in Kyiv take very concrete steps, in introducing an amnesty law and offering a whole range of reforms with respect to the constitution, that are consistent with what was discussed in Geneva.  And my expectation is, is that if, once again, Russia fails to abide by both the spirit and the letter of what was discussed in Geneva, that there will be further consequences and we will ramp up further sanctions. 

That doesn’t mean that the problem is going to be solved right away.  These are difficult issues.  But what we try to do is to make sure that we are very clear about what we stand for, what we believe in, and we are willing to take actions on behalf of those values, those norms, and those ideals.

Excerpt  from U.S.-Japan Joint Statement:

In concert with our G-7 partners, the United States and Japan have condemned Russia over its illegal attempt to annex Crimea and are consulting closely on further measures against Russia over its deplorable conduct, while strongly urging Russia to deescalate tensions in Ukraine.

Together, we are taking concrete steps to support Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and economic stability.

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