On Sunday, the White House issued a stern warning to Russia to stay out of Ukrainian affairs and stated that if Russia chooses to send troops into the violence-torn Eastern European nation, it “would be a grave mistake,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
“It’s not in the interests of Ukraine or of Russia or of Europe or the United States to see the country split. It’s in nobody’s interest to see violence returned and the situation escalate,” Rice said. “There is not an inherent contradiction … between a Ukraine that has longstanding historic and cultural ties to Russia and a modern Ukraine that wants to integrate more closely with Europe.”
According to the New York Daily News, on Saturday the Ukrainian parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych, who had vowed to stay in office.
“He left Kiev, packed up in an orderly fashion—took his stuff, his furniture, with him,” Rice said about the Ukrainian president’s departure. “This was not fleeing in a very disorderly fashion.”
Yanukovych’s departure has left a void that Rice believes will be handled in diplomatic fashion.
“We are going to have a unity government. We are going to have near-term elections. We are going to have constitutional reform,” she said.
“The United States is on the side of the Ukrainian people,” Rice added. “And the Ukrainian people have indicated from the outset, three months ago, when this began, that President Yanukovych, at the time, his decision to turn away from Europe, was not the choice of the Ukrainian people.”
Read more at New York Daily News.