Kerry, Hammond discuss support for Ukraine

US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Wednesday discussed ways to continue supporting Ukraine in its struggles with Russia in eastern Ukraine.

“We agree on the need for Russia to withdraw its forces immediately from Ukraine, to end its material support for separatists and to meet its commitments under the Minsk cease-fire, which they have agreed to, and to put in place the peace plan agreements,” Kerry said in a joint appearance with Hammond after their meeting at the State Department.

The actions of Russia over the past months “have challenged the most basic principles of our international system,” Kerry said.

“Borders cannot and should not be redrawn at the barrel of a gun, and people have a right in their own country within their sovereign borders to determine their own future.

“So together with the G-7, our European partners and other allies, we have made it clear that we are prepared to do even more to ensure that the international order prevails, and that with one voice, we prove that we mean what we say, and we say what we mean,” he added.

On his part, Hammond said there can be no Russian veto on Ukrainian democracy, and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko “will need continuing international support to ensure stability within the country, and that Ukraine is able to go on making decisions about its own future.

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