Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday condemned Russia’s “invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory” and warned that its relations with the U.S. were at risk.
“Unless immediate and concrete steps are taken by Russia to deescalate tensions, the effect on U.S.-Russian relations and on Russia's international standing will be profound,” Kerry said in a statement.
Kerry’s statement came after President Barack Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and warned that Russia not pull back its forces in Crimea it would face “greater political and economic isolation” if did not pull back its forces in Crimea.
Kerry said the U.S. respected Russia’s concerns about ethnic Russians in Ukraine but said those concerns should be addressed by discussions with Ukraine’s government, not military action. He called on the other nations to support Ukraine in the crisis.
Canada said Saturday that it was recalling its ambassador to Moscow and pulling out of preparations for the G8 summit planned for Sochi, Russia.
“Ukraine's sovereign territory must be respected and the Ukrainian people must be free to determine their own future," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement.
First published March 1 2014, 10:18 PM