Kyiv, March, 10th, 2014 – Geoffrey R. Pyatt, United States Ambassador to Ukraine, at a press briefing in the Ukraine Crisis Media Center said: ‘Any increase of the autonomy of Crimea should be done not under the barrel of a gun, but in a clear, transparent and constitutional process. The U.S. is not prepared to recognize any result of the referendum on the 16th of March. We are committed to viewing Crimea as an integral part of Ukraine’.
Ambassador Pyatt also stated: ‘The highest priority of the U.S. is to reaffirm our commitment to Ukraine’s territorial integrity. I was delighted by what I saw yesterday, when people gathered to show their support to a unified Ukraine, and the political parties’ leaders issued statements in the east and south. I was amazed to read this morning that someone was burning a Shakhtar team flag, and I’m sure that anyone who was doing this was not from Ukraine. It is obvious that there is an active campaign to stir division in Ukraine, and the best message is to send is a message of unity to all regions of Ukraine’.
Commenting on the Crimean crisis, Mr. Pyatt noted: ‘From our standpoint there is no military solution for the situation in Crimea, this crisis needs to be solved diplomatically. I have been impressed by the courage and determination that the Ukrainian forces have demonstrated in the existing provocations’.
Speaking on the sanctions introduced by the United States, Mr. Pyatt stated: ‘We have implemented a variety of sanctions and are ready to step in with more. There are 3 dimensions to our support. The first is a billion dollar financial support, a decision that is quickly moving ahead through the congress and the senate. The second is that we are working on the technical level with the National Bank of Ukraine. Finally, we are ready to deal with investigating the autocracy around Yanukovych. FBI, the Department of Justice and the Department of Treasury already have teams on the ground in Ukraine working with their Ukrainian counterparts to uncover financial crimes of the regime. In February 2014 the U.S. announced the visa sanctions against a variety of persons up the chain of command responsible for the crimes against Maidan and the shooting on Institutska St. Additionally, the White House announced last week new visa revocations related to the violation of territorial integrity resulting in the invasion of Crimea. There is an additional tool that the White House unveiled during the last weeks: the Executive Board that provides additional mechanisms for sanctions on those involved in the Crimea crisis. The White House has not announced how it will continue. It is still on the table, yet it expresses our resolve to raise the cost for Russia and for those in Crimea involved in the violation of international laws’.
Geoffrey R. Pyatt, a Senior Foreign Service officer, arrived in Kyiv on August 3, 2013 as the eighth United States Ambassador to Ukraine. His 24 year State Department career has ranged from Asia to Europe and Latin America.