Kyiv, March 20, 2014 – “If I listened to the Russian rhetoric, I would have expected to walk through the streets of Kyiv and be attacked by dangerous elements. I was approached by children with flowers,” said Wendy Sherman, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs today at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
“It is really extraordinary what the Ukrainian government has done in a very short time, and the international community offers every form of support that we possibly can. We fully support the independence, the territorial integrity, and sovereignty of Ukraine, and anyone who tries otherwise does not understand the people and the aspirations of this country,” – the official said.
Speaking to the issue of sanctions, Sherman said Russia faces additional sanctions if it doesn’t deescalate the conflict in Crimea. “There will be costs and additional isolation of Russia if it continues to take aggressive steps that will in any way undermine the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia has a choice. The US will not only speak clearly but also act clearly. People are quite aware of the range of the sanctions we can impose and of the impact those sanctions can have,” the diplomat said.
Sherman commended OSCE’s efforts to deploy monitors to Ukraine. Emphasizing the need for fair and transparent elections on May 25, she said having over 1,000 monitors would go a long way toward creating “some sustainability.” The Under Secretary also said she believed cooperating with the UN to create a de-militarized zone in Crimea was a “promising concept.”
Wendy R. Sherman is Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the third highest ranking position in the U.S. Department of State. Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman was sworn in as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs on September 21, 2011. Prior to this position, Under Secretary Sherman served as Vice Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm, and a member of the Investment Committee of Albright Capital Management, an affiliated investment advisory firm focused on emerging markets.