Secretary Kerry on the Violations of the February 12th Minsk Agreement in Ukraine

Carlton Gardens
London, United Kingdom
February 21, 2015

…but in the immediacy, Russia has engaged in an absolutely brazen and cynical process over these last days. There is no secret to any of us, not in this age of all kinds of visibility and technical means and satellites and the ability to watch what people are doing – we know to a certainty what Russia has been providing to the separatists, how Russia is involved with the separatists, and the ways in which Russia has cynically been willing to go to – even lead an effort at the UN, even simultaneously as it is continuing to do land grabbing in Ukraine. And what is happening with respect to Mariupol even now is just simply unacceptable…

So we are talking about additional sanctions, additional efforts. I’m confident that over the course of the next days, people are determined to make it clear we’re not going to play this game. We’re not going to sit there and be part of this kind of extraordinarily craven behavior at the expense of the sovereignty and integrity of a nation. This is behavior that is completely counter to everything that the global community has worked to achieve and to put in place ever since World War II. And I’m confident that the United Kingdom, the United States, and others are prepared to stand up to it.

U.S. Embassy London
London, United Kingdom

Foreign Secretary Hammond and I also discussed the egregious Russian and separatist violations of the February 12th Minsk agreement in Ukraine which embraced the September agreements and set forth a very clear path for what was needed to be done to be able to put a cease-fire in place and begin to live up to those agreements.

One of the most egregious violations is obviously the assault, the full-scale assault on the city of Debaltseve and the violations of the cease-fire in the resupply of the separatists by Russia. Let me be clear: We know to a certainty what Russia has been providing, and no amount of propaganda is capable of hiding these actions. And for anyone who wants to make gray areas out of black, let’s get very real. The Minsk implementation agreement is not open to interpretation. It’s not vague. It’s not optional. It’s called for a complete cease-fire that was to take effect on the night of February 15th with full OSCE access to the conflict zone, and the pullback of all heavy weapons from the line of contact.

So far, Russia and the separatists are only complying in a few areas selectively, not in Debaltseve, not outside Mariopol, and not in other key strategic areas. And that is simply unacceptable. If this failure continues, make no mistake: There will be further consequences, including consequences that would place added strains on Russia’s already troubled economy. We’re not going to sit back and allow this kind of cynical, craven behavior to continue at the expense of the sovereignty and integrity of another nation. And I am confident that the United States and the United Kingdom and others are prepared to stand up and take the measures necessary to add to the cost of these actions.

… yes, [additional] sanctions are being considered because there are a number of more serious sanctions that yet remain available to the European Community and the United States and others who are sharing in the implementation of these sanctions.