On Ukraine, terrorism and climate change, U.S. and EU agree

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shows European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini a photo of them traveling together to the London Conference on Afghanistan in December 2014. (State Dept.)

Ukraine topped the agenda in a January 21 meeting between top diplomats from the United States and the European Union.

“Today, we reviewed the alarming situation in Ukraine, where we are continuing to press Russia to live by the Minsk agreement which they signed on to, which they negotiated, which they said they would keep, and which is critical to our ability to be able to restore the full sovereignty and the calm and the stability necessary for a transformation,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press conference with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini.

“Any kind of decision on sanctions is going to be based only on the full implementation of the Minsk agreement,” Mogherini said. “And it is in the hands of the Russians now to fulfill their own commitments.”

Kerry called on all sides in the conflict to end the fighting and to implement the Minsk agreement and cease attempts at a “blatant land grab.”

Members of Los Angeles’ French-American community hold signs reading “I’m Charlie” and “Je Suis Charlie” at a gathering in solidarity with those killed in the attack on the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo on January 7. (© AP Images)

Counterterrorism efforts, especially in light of the recent attacks in Paris, also figured prominently in their discussions.

“Terrorists want to drive us apart, but in fact, their actions have had the opposite effect: They’re bringing us together,” Kerry said.

The diplomats also agreed that the United States and the European Union would continue to work together to answer the urgent challenge of climate change.

Kerry said he was “very pleased that the EU and the United States are increasingly aligned in pushing for meaningful commitments by states in advance of the December summit in Paris.”

The United States and the EU are more closely aligned than ever before on the issue, Mogherini said, adding that she believes that “in December in Paris we can get to an historic result when it comes to climate change.”