Remarks With British Foreign Secretary William Hague, and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia at Top of Tripartite Agreement Ministerial

Press Release

By:  John Kerry
Date: March 5, 2014
Location: Paris, France

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, we're glad to have our friends here from Ukraine and from Great Britain, partners in the Budapest Agreement of 1994, regrettably missing one member, but we will be meeting, hopefully this afternoon, with that additional member. So we look forward to our own discussion this morning. We appreciate you being here. Thank you.

William, do you want to say anything?

FOREIGN SECRETARY HAGUE: Well, it is absolutely right that we have met for consultations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum. And that is provided for in Article 6 of the memorandum, and in such a crisis it's absolutely right to meet. It is regrettable -- exactly as you said, John -- that Russia is not here with us. But we will make every diplomatic effort today to bring Russia and Ukraine into direct contact at ministerial level with the support of other nations. And this is one opportunity to do that; we will try to create other opportunities later today.

FOREIGN MINISTER DESHCHYTSIA: I'll say a few words also?

SECRETARY KERRY: Of course, Andrii, absolutely.

FOREIGN MINISTER DESHCHYTSIA: As an equal partner in the Budapest Memorandum. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY KERRY: No, no, no.

FOREIGN MINISTER DESHCHYTSIA: And I'm very glad that we have these consultations here, and that during these days we've had so many consultations in Ukraine -- your visit, and with Secretary Hague and with Secretary Kerry two days ago, yesterday, so now we have these consultations here. It's very decisive and important moment, and we are looking very much forward that we will be also having consultations with Russia bilaterally and multilaterally.

SECRETARY KERRY: I'm just going to read two paragraphs from the Russian Federation Commission[i]: "The United States of America and the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine except in self-defense or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations."

It also says the same parties -- the United States, the Russian Federation, et cetera -- "In accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act" -- that's Helsinki -- "to refrain from economic coercion designed to subordinate to their own interest the exercise by Ukraine of the rights inherent in its sovereignty." So there are very clear legal obligations that are at risk in this, and we're going to talk about those here this morning. So thank you all very much.

FOREIGN MINISTER DESHCHYTSIA: Thank you very much.

FOREIGN SECRETARY HAGUE: Thank you.