US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said that the USA rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored.
The following statement was published on the US Department of State website:
“Russia, through its 2014 invasion of Ukraine and its attempted annexation of Crimea, sought to undermine a bedrock international principle shared by democratic states: that no country can change the borders of another by force. The states of the world, including Russia, agreed to this principle in the United Nations Charter, pledging to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. This fundamental principle — which was reaffirmed in the Helsinki Final Act — constitutes one of the foundations upon which our shared security and safety rests.
As we did in the Welles Declaration in 1940, the United States reaffirms as policy its refusal to recognize the Kremlin’s claims of sovereignty over territory seized by force in contravention of international law. In concert with allies, partners, and the international community, the United States rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored.
The United States calls on Russia to respect the principles to which it has long claimed to adhere and to end its occupation of Crimea. As democratic states seek to build a free, just, and prosperous world, we must uphold our commitment to the international principle of sovereign equality and respect the territorial integrity of other states. Through its actions, Russia has acted in a manner unworthy of a great nation and has chosen to isolate itself from the international community.”
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko welcomed Washington’s “historic” statement, describing it as a “decent answer to the Kremlin’s hybrid provocations after Helsinki”.
He thanked Donald Trump’s administration for its unwavering support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and called on Ukraine’s partners and friends to support “Pompeo’s Declaration”.
“Our joint strategy is to move from non-recognition to deoccupation policy. As a joint front, we will force Russia to stop the aggression and respect international law,” he said on Facebook.