US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt: “Putin can stop this with one phone call”


Kyiv, 25 July 2014 “Putin can stop this with one phone call,” US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt told reporters at a Press Briefing in Ukraine Crisis Media Center. He expressed concern that rather than de-escalating tensions Russia was “pouring gasoline on the fire,” by continuing to arm and train fighters, sending them into Ukraine. He expressed alarm that Russia was attacking Ukraine with artillery fire from inside its border and at a time when Ukraine’s President has confirmed his commitment to a peaceful solution.

He also commented on the Malaysia crash investigation, congratulating President Poroshenko’s decision to hand control over the process to the Dutch. “What happened is not a mystery,” he said, but repeated the need for a thorough, impartial investigation and noted regret at the fact that international experts were still being denied full access to the site.

Answering a question about Arseniy Yatseniuk tendering his resignation, expressed, “Enormous respect for what Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has accomplished since March,” and that it was up to Ukraine’s political leadership to work things out. But he stressed that Ukraine needs to “stick to the hard and painful path of economic reforms. There are no short cuts.”

Looking forward he said that Ukraine had a daunting reconstruction task ahead. Noting that corporate elites understand the benefits of an institutional relationship with the EU, much effort was needed to overcome the deep problems of distrust by ordinary people “who were bombarded with Russian propaganda about the fascist putsch.”

Pyatt also appealed to those holding kidnapped CNN stringer Anton Skiba, and all other hostages, to be released, saying he was alarmed to see how Russia has been ‘weaponizing information.”