Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed that Donetsk Jews received fliers ordering them to register with pro-Russian authorities, calling the news “grotesque.”
Appearing with EU High Representative Catherine Ashton after a Geneva meeting on the Ukraine crisis, Kerry said “the parties agreed today that all sides must refrain from the use of violence, intimidation, or provocative actions. And we strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism, and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism.”
“Let me say a quick word about that. Just in the last couple of days, notices were sent to Jews in one city indicating that they had to identify themselves as Jews. And obviously, the accompanying threat implied is – or threatened – or suffer the consequences, one way or the other,” Kerry continued.
“In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable; it’s grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable. And any of the people who engage in these kinds of activities, from whatever party or whatever ideology or whatever place they crawl out of, there is no place for that. And unanimously, every party today joined in this condemnation of that kind of behavior.”
The U.S., Russia, Ukraine and EU agreed “all illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.”
“Amnesty will be granted to protestors and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes,” continues their statement.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters today that the U.S. is still looking into who was behind the fliers.
“As we said in the joint statement, all four parties very clearly condemn anti-Semitism. So again, I don’t have more details on where the reports are coming from, but I know we’re looking into it,” Harf said. “I think the Secretary made very clear that we take this very seriously.”