WASHINGTON — The Latest on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s testimony to Congress (all times local):
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States will never recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and will continue to insist that Ukraine’s territorial integrity be restored.
In a statement released Wednesday by the State Department, Pompeo said the U.S. will hold to its long-standing principle of refusing to recognize Kremlin claims of sovereignty over territory seized by force, in violation of international law. He called for Russia to respect principles and “end its occupation of Crimea.”
The statement was released shortly before Pompeo was to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he is expected to face tough questioning about President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
Trump has previously suggested that U.S. opposition to Russia’s annexation of Crimea could be reconsidered.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is taking a tough line on Russia and its actions in Ukraine as skeptical lawmakers are set to demand specifics from him on President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
According to a State Department transcript released of a Pompeo interview Tuesday with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Pompeo says Trump and Putin “didn’t find much place to agree” on Ukraine.
Pompeo says Trump made clear to Putin that the so-called Minsk Accords to settle the Ukraine conflict is the right path forward. He also reiterated U.S. support for an investigation that held Russia responsible for downing a Malaysian airliner over east Ukraine in 2014.
Pompeo said what the Russians did was “deeply immoral.”
Pompeo testifies to Congress later Wednesday.