This is the body of a press release from the White House, said to have occurred in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. Below that is a statement from U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3.
(Below the DeLauro release are related documents)
Release, unedited here:
10:45 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. In recent months, as
the citizens of Ukraine have made their voices heard, we have been
guided by a fundamental principle -- the future of Ukraine must be
decided by the people of Ukraine.
That means Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be
respected, and international law must be upheld.
And so, Russia’s decision to send troops into Crimea has rightly
drawn global condemnation. From the start, the United States has
mobilized the international community in support of Ukraine to isolate
Russia for its actions and to
reassure our allies and partners. We saw this international unity
again over the weekend, when Russia stood alone in the U.N. Security
Council defending its actions in Crimea. And as I told President Putin
yesterday, the referendum in Crimea was a clear
violation of Ukrainian constitutions and international law, and it will
not be recognized by the international community.
Today, I’m announcing a series of measures that will continue to
increase the cost on Russia and on those responsible for what is
happening in Ukraine. First, as authorized by the executive order I
signed two weeks ago, we are imposing
sanctions on specific individuals responsible for undermining the
sovereignty, territorial integrity and government of Ukraine. We’re
making it clear that there are consequences for their actions.
Second, I have signed a new executive order that expands the
scope of our sanctions. As an initial step, I’m authorizing sanctions
on Russian officials -- entities operating in the arms sector in Russia
and individuals who provide
material support to senior officials of the Russian government. And if
Russia continues to interfere in Ukraine, we stand ready to impose
Third, we’re continuing our close consultations with our
European partners, who today in Brussels moved ahead with their own
sanctions against Russia. Tonight, Vice President Biden departs for
Europe, where he will meet with the leaders
of our NATO allies -- Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. And I’ll
be traveling to Europe next week. Our message will be clear. As NATO
allies, we have a solemn commitment to our collective defense, and we
will uphold this commitment.
Fourth, we’ll continue to make clear to Russia that further
provocations will achieve nothing except to further isolate Russia and
diminish its place in the world. The international community will
continue to stand together to oppose
any violations of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity, and
continued Russian military intervention in Ukraine will only deepen
Russia’s diplomatic isolation and exact a greater toll on the Russian
Going forward, we can calibrate our response based on whether
Russia chooses to escalate or to de-escalate the situation. Now, I
believe there’s still a path to resolve this situation diplomatically in
a way that addresses the interest
of both Russia and Ukraine. That includes Russia pulling its forces in
Crimea back to their bases, supporting the deployment of additional
international monitors in Ukraine, and engaging in dialogue with the
Ukrainian government, which has indicated its openness
to pursuing constitutional reform as they move forward towards
elections this spring.
But throughout this process, we’re going to stand firm in our
unwavering support for Ukraine. As I told Prime Minister Yatsenyuk last
week, the United States stands with the people of Ukraine and their
right to determine their own
destiny. We’re going to keep working with Congress and our
international partners to offer Ukraine the economic support that it
needs to weather this crisis and to improve the daily lives of the
And as we go forward, we’ll continue to look at the range of
ways we can help our Ukrainian friends achieve their universal rights
and the security, prosperity and dignity that they deserve. Thanks very
much. And Jay, I think, will
be available for questions. Thank you.
END 10:49 A.M. EDT
DeLauro release on "yesterday's referendum in Crimea and President Obama's announcement
of sanctions. The United States--and many other nations--have called
this referendum, on whether to separate from Ukraine and join the
Russian Federation, illegal."
"The illegal referendum for Crimean separation represents an unwarranted
further escalation of the crisis in Ukraine by Russia, and there must
be a clear response from the United States, the European Union and the
international community. I applaud the Administration for the sanctions
it announced today<http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/03/17/statement-president-ukraine
and for its efforts to support the people of Ukraine while applying
pressure on Russia to change its course. I was pleased to support
legislation supporting the democratic aspirations of the people of
Ukraine, providing assistance to Ukraine and condemning the violation of
Ukrainian sovereignty by Russia's military forces."
DeLauro has cast multiple votes in support of the Ukrainian people this
year, and co-sponsored H.Res. 447, which supports the democratic and
European aspirations of the people of Ukraine, and their right to choose
their own future free of intimidation and fear. She also met recently
with members of Connecticut's Ukrainian community in New Haven.
Labels: Crimea, President Barack Obama, Russia, Ukraine, White House