National Security Adviser Susan Rice addressed the Ukrainian crisis Sunday, saying the United States is on the side of the Ukrainian people as the protests continue at Independence Square in Kiev.
Anti-government demonstrators are standing in opposition to President Viktor Yanukovich, who turned down a trade deal with the West. Yanukovich has since fled Kiev after demonstrators took control of the capital on Saturday, and his current whereabouts are unknown. The country’s parliament voted to remove Yanukovich, and new elections are set for May 25.
While speaking with David Gregory on Sunday’s Meet the Press, Rice acknowledged the bloodshed that has taken place since protests began last November.
“From a U.S. point of view, our interests have been clear all along: we want to see a de-escalation of the violence; we want to see constitutional change; we want to see democratic elections in very short order and the opportunity for the people of Ukraine to come together in a coalition unity government,” Rice said.
Rice also addressed the Syrian humanitarian crisis, calling it horrific, while also reiterating that military intervention in the region is not the United States’ interest. Rice also stated the U.S. is supporting moderate opposition with both “material and political support.” The UN Security Council has also unanimously approved a resolution on access to humanitarian aid.
“We are very much committed to trying to work to resolve this conflict, but in a way that doesn’t insert the United States back into a hot, bloody conflict in the middle of the Middle East,” Rice told Gregory.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of holding up peace talks in the region, and Kerry has also called on Russia to help in the process.
Rice also spoke briefly on the attack on the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Rice told Gregory she had no regrets on her involvement in the story.
“…what I said to you that morning, and what I did every day since was to share the best information that we had at the time,” Rice said. “The information I provided, which I explained to you was what we had at the moment. It could change. I commented that this was based on what we knew on that morning, was provided to me and my colleagues and indeed to Congress by the intelligence community. And that’s been well validated in many different ways since. And that information turned out in some respects not to be 100 percent correct. But the notion that somehow I or anyone in the administration misled the American people is patently false. And I think that’s been amply demonstrated.”
Rice also said the United State was still actively looking for those behind the attack.
“The investigation is ongoing, and it [has] indeed made progress,” she said. “But the point is: we will get the perpetrators. We will stay on it until this gets done…The United States stays on the case.”