It has now been a week since the United States, the European Union, Russia, and Ukraine met in Geneva. We did so after a phone call between President Putin and President Obama, in which both leaders expressed a desire to avoid further escalation in Ukraine. We met in Geneva with a clear mission: to improve security conditions and find political solutions to the conflict threatening the sovereignty and unity of Ukraine. And right there in Geneva, EU High Representative Ashton and I made clear that both Russia and Ukraine had to demonstrate more than good faith. They needed to take concrete actions in order to meet their commitments.
The simple reality is you can’t resolve a crisis when only one side is willing to do what is necessary to avoid a confrontation. Every day since we left Geneva – every day, even up to today, when Russia sent armored battalions right up the Luhansk Oblast border – the world has witnessed a tale of two countries, two countries with vastly different understandings of what it means to uphold an international agreement.
One week later, it is clear that only one side, one country, is keeping its word. And for anyone who wants to create gray areas out of black, or find in the fine print crude ways to justify crude actions, let’s get real – the Geneva agreement is not open to interpretation. It is not vague. It is not subjective. It is not optional. What we agreed to in Geneva is as simple as it is specific.