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South Dakota's Congressional Delegation Weighs In On Ukraine

March 5, 2014, 10:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

South Dakota's Congressional Delegation Weighs In On Ukraine

A diplomatic solution is in the works in Ukraine where top Russian and Western officials are trying to defuse the crisis over Crimea. South Dakota's Congressional delegation is hopeful something can be done to avoid a new global conflict.

For the first time since Russian forces took control of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, Secretary of State John Kerry held direct one-on-one talks with the Russian Foreign Minister about the crisis.

"I'm glad Secretary Kerry is there trying to work with our European allies to get everybody on the same page," Senator John Thune said.

Senator Thune is hopeful there could still be a good outcome; but it may require some sort of economic sanctions against Russia.

"That's something I'd be willing to take a look at supporting, but making sure Russia understands that the international community is not going to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to what they are doing, that there will be consequences," Thune said.

The US is urging Moscow to withdraw forces back to bases in Crimea and open talks with Ukraine's acting government.

"It's a very tumultuous situation that we've got going on in the Ukraine, I'm very concerned about Russia's actions," Representative Kristi Noem said.

Congresswoman Kristi Noem says the US has an interest in that part of the world and must do all it can to bring a tense situation to a calm conclusion.

"I'm hopeful we can do all we can using those kind of actions that are diplomatically and economically to see what we can do to stabilize this region," Noem said.

Secretary Kerry tried to get the two sides together at a meeting in Paris, but it hasn't happened yet.

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