If Russia acts recklessly or aggressively, there will be consequences – U.S. Charge d'Affaires
U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien said the United States, along with its allies, are deeply concerned about the buildup of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine and in the occupied territories, and Russia will face consequences in the event of aggressive actions against Ukraine, the U.S. Embassy said.
"Let me conclude by reiterating that the United States remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including Crimea and its territorial waters. To ensure Ukraine achieves its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, we and our partners will continue to support Ukraine as it defends itself from Russia's aggression. Our leadership has made clear that if Russia acts recklessly or aggressively, there will be costs and consequences," Kvien said at the authority ceremony from Task Force Illini to Task Force Raven in Yavoriv, Lviv region.
She said that tens of thousands of Russian forces stand near the border with Ukraine and in the Ukrainian territory of Crimea, and are increasing in number. "The United States and our NATO Allies and partners in Europe are deeply concerned about this escalation. And in addition to this provocative buildup of troops, the government of Russia continues to conduct a disinformation campaign, falsely claiming Ukraine is escalating tensions. Let me make crystal clear – my team at the U.S. Embassy and I know first hand – Ukraine was not, and is not, taking provocative actions against Russia. In fact, Ukraine has demonstrated admirable restraint in the face of Russia's intimidation and aggression," Kvien said.
The Chargé d'Affaire said that, against the backdrop of Russia's provocations, it is important to remember that the Ukraine of 2021 – and the Ukrainian armed forces of 2021 – are vastly different than those of 2014.
"The Ukraine of 2021 has achieved significant reform – you have improved rule of law, developed the economy, and fought against corruption. In doing so, Ukraine has become more democratic, more responsive to the will and needs of its people, and more resilient to threats, both external and internal. To better address external threats, the Ukrainian armed forces have become a more capable, more professional fighting force, one of the most capable battle-ready forces in Europe today – and the United States is proud that our cooperative security efforts have supported this impressive development," she said.