Magazine article U.S. Department of Defense Speeches

Secretary of Defense James Mattis Remarks with President Petro Poroshenko

Magazine article U.S. Department of Defense Speeches

Secretary of Defense James Mattis Remarks with President Petro Poroshenko

Article excerpt

Remarks as Delivered by Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Presidential Palace, Kyiv, Ukraine, Aug. 24, 2017

Mr. President, it is an honor to stand alongside you on Ukraine's Independence Day as a tangible demonstration of our unity and solidarity.

Have no doubt, the United States stands with Ukraine. We support you in the face of threats to your sovereignty and territorial integrity, to international law, and to the international order

We do not, and we will not, accept Russia's seizure of Crimea.

And despite Russia's denials, we know they are seeking to redraw international borders by force, undermining the sovereign and free nations of Europe.

Russia put its reputation on the line when it accepted the call for an immediate ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons, and to grant the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe unfettered access under the Minsk Agreement.

In 1994, Russia signed the Budapest Memorandum--alongside the United States, United Kingdom and Ukraine--providing Ukraine with assurances that all parties would respect its independence, sovereignty and existing borders.

In that memorandum, Russia also promised to refrain from the threat or use of force in exchange for Ukraine's relinquishment of nuclear weapons.

Once again, under the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act, Russia agreed to refrain from the "threat or use of force against each other or any other state, its sovereignty, territorial integrity, or political independence."

Unfortunately, Russia is not adhering to the letter, much less the spirit, of these international commitments

The U.S. and our allies will continue to press Russia to honor its Minsk commitments and our sanctions will remain in place until Moscow reverses the actions that triggered them. …

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