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US raises concern over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine

John+KerryWASHINGTON – calling the move of Rusia as a “grave mistake,” on Wednesday, The United States warned Russia against a military intervention in Ukraine, as troops in western Russia were placed on high alert for massive new war games in the area, including near the Russian-Ukrainian border.
In delivering the blunt message, Secretary of State John Kerry also announced that the Obama administration was planning $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine and would consider additional direct assistance for the former Soviet republic following unrest that led to the ouster of its Russian-backed president.
Kerry also renewed U.S. demands that Moscow withdraw troops from disputed enclaves in another former Soviet republic, Georgia, and urged Georgia to further integrate with Europe and NATO.
The warning, aid announcement and nudge westward for Georgia all came amid growing tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine and were likely to fuel already-heightened Russian suspicions over Western intentions in its backyard.
Kerry then said, “For a country that has spoken out so frequently in the last year … against foreign intervention in Libya, Syria, elsewhere, it would be important for them to heed those warnings as they think about options in the sovereign nation of Ukraine.” Kerry further asserted that, “Any kind of military intervention that would violate the sovereign territorial integrity of Ukraine would be a huge, a grave mistake. And the territorial integrity of Ukraine needs to be respected.”
Kerry made the comments in a round-table interview with a small group of reporters at the State Department where he presided over a meeting of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission earlier Wednesday.
At that meeting, he announced additional, but unspecified, U.S. assistance “to help support Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic vision.” And he denounced Russia’s continued military presence in the breakaway Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in violation of the cease-fire that ended the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict.
He stressed that the U.S. supports Georgia’s membership in NATO — something opposed by Russia — and wants to see it sign a partnership agreement with the European Union later this year. A similar proposed agreement between Ukraine and the E.U. was among the catalysts that led to the deadly unrest in Kiev that unseated Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych last week.
In addition to Putin ordering the military exercises, Russia’s defense ministry said it would take steps to strengthen security at facilities of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, where there have been clashes between pro- and anti-Russian demonstrators. Pro-Russian protesters have spoken of secession, and a Russian lawmaker has stoked their passions by promising that Russia will protect them.

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