Huffpost Politics

Obama On Kiev Violence: 'There Will Be Consequences'

Posted: Updated:

TOLUCA, Mexico (AP) — President Barack Obama says "there will be consequences" for violence in Ukraine if people step over the line.

He says that includes making sure that the military doesn't step into a situation that civilians should resolve.

Obama says the U.S. condemns the violence in the strongest terms. He says the U.S. holds Ukraine's government primarily responsible to ensure it's dealing with peaceful protesters appropriately.

Obama is speaking in Mexico after arriving for an international summit. He says the U.S. is deeply engaged with European partners, Ukraine's government and the opposition. He says the violence has captured the entire world's attention.

The U.S. has raised the prospect of joining partners in Europe to impose sanctions against Ukraine. At least 25 people were killed Tuesday in clashes between protesters and police.

Below, Obama's full statement on the violence in Kiev:

The United States condemns in the strongest terms the violence that’s taking place. And we have been deeply engaged with our European partners as well as the Ukrainian government and the opposition to try to ensure that that violence ends. But we hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible for making sure that it is dealing with peaceful protestors in an appropriate way, that the Ukrainian people are able to assemble and speak freely about their interests without fear of repression. And I want to be very clear as we work through these next several days in Ukraine that we’re going to be watching closely and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protestors. We’ve also said we expect peaceful protestors to remain peaceful and we’ll be monitoring very closely the situation, recognizing that with our European partners and the international community there will be consequences if people step over the line. And that includes making sure the Ukrainian military does not step into what should be a set of issues that can be resolved by civilians. So the United States will continue to engage with all sides in the dispute in Ukraine and ultimately our interest is to make sure the Ukrainian people can express their own desires and we believe a large majority of Ukrainians are interested in an integration with Europe and the commerce and cultural exchanges that are possible for them to expand opportunity and prosperity. But regardless of how the Ukrainian people determine their own future it is important the people themselves make those decisions and that’s what the United States will continue to strive to achieve.

Also on HuffPost:

Incredible Photos From Behind The Battle Lines In Kiev 23 Jan 2014
Share this
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Obama, Harper to discuss sanctions against Ukraine

US is 'appalled' by deadly violence in Ukraine, but no action is announced

Ukraine explodes in violence