Thursday, July 31, 2014

Amb. Taylor to Congress: Russia is 'greatest threat to peace in Europe'

Hon. William Taylor, now of the U.S. Institute of Peace, had this to say to Congress on July 29 about Russia's war in Ukraine [emphasis mine]:

In my view we must confront the Russian war against Ukraine.  This aggression started with the quiet invasion of Crimea last spring.  A sham, at-the-end-of-a-rifle referendum was followed by an illegal annexation.  The international community should not allow that annexation to stand.  Until that situation is resolved to the satisfaction of Ukraine, the Russiarn government should pay serious penalties to Ukraine for the temporary loss of income and illegally confiscated assets that would have come to Ukraine from Crimea.

The international community did not confront the Kremlin over Crimea.  As a consequence, the Russians continued their aggression in Donetsk and Luhansk.  The leaders of the separatist movement have become almost exclusively Russian, and Russian equipment flows across the border unimpeded.  This equipment—including sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons—shot down the Malaysian airliner killing 298 people.  No matter what individual separatist pushed the button to fire the weapon—let’s be clear, Mr. Chairman-- the tragedy is Russian responsibility.

So Taylor is the second former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine (after John Herbst) to exhort the United States to aid Ukraine militarily, among other means:

[T]he international community, led by the United States, should provide Ukraine with the means to eliminate the separatist forces in their country.  This means weapons, military advice, intelligence, and financial support to pay and equip their soldiers.

July 31, 2014 | Kyiv Post

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