US Secretary of State John Kerry delivers a statement on
Ukraine from the State Department press briefing room in
Washington. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
The United States has warned Russia that Washington and
its allies will stand united in their defence of Ukraine and
that NATO territory was inviolable and the alliance would
defend every single piece of it.
"Today Russia seeks to change the security landscape of
Eastern and Central Europe," Kerry said in a speech in
Washington referring to Russia's occupation of Crimea and the
threat it posed to eastern Ukraine.
"Whatever path Russia chooses, the United States and our
allies will stand together in our defence of Ukraine," Kerry
"And most important, together we have to make it absolutely
clear to the Kremlin that NATO territory is inviolable. We
will defend every single piece of it," he added.
In a call to NATO members, Kerry said unity was vital and
members' defence budgets could not be allowed to shrink.
"Together we have to push back against those who want to
change sovereign borders by force," Kerry said.
"We find ourselves in a defining moment for our
trans-Atlantic alliance; Our strength will come from our
unity," he said. "This moment is about more than just
ourselves - the fact is that our entire model for global
leadership is at stake."
Kerry said the United States and its European allies had to
work together to ensure European countries were not dependent
on Russian energy supplies.
"We can deliver greater energy independence if we help to
diversify the energy sources available to European markets,"
he said in the address at a Washington think tank attended by
ministers from several EU and NATO countries.
He called the crisis in Ukraine "a wake up call" to
accelerate work "to promote a stronger, more prosperous