Remarks by Western diplomats in line with united response to Russian plot to attack civilian aircraft

In a show of unity on Friday, U.S. and Western diplomats underscored a coordinated response to a newly revealed plot to attack civilian airplanes over Europe with downing missiles, and warned of “massive consequences” for Russia if it were to cross the border into Ukraine.

In a letter to Michael R. Flynn, President Trump’s National Security Adviser, the ambassadors of the U.S., Ukraine, Poland, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany, NATO, Russia and other key states reiterated the unified support for the joint investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine two years ago.

The letter described the intention to place the investigation in the hands of a multilateral independent organization, a group similar to the IAAF, the International Olympic Committee. The letter also said that Western states would support whatever measures Russia takes to halt the plans to conduct the attack.

“We warn Russia, in the strongest terms, that we will not tolerate Russian military interference in Ukrainian sovereignty and territory,” the diplomats wrote. “If such an attempt is made, we will have no choice but to impose large-scale, extensive and immediate sanctions as well as other sanctions to protect Ukraine and the international community.”

The statement came in the midst of an escalation of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Russia. Russia warned Ukraine that it would withdraw the diplomatic accreditation it granted to ousted President Petro Poroshenko when Russia began military activity in the Crimea peninsula. Ukraine, in turn, recalled its ambassador to Russia.

One statement on Friday by a Russian diplomat suggested that the alleged Russian plan to carry out an attack on civilian planes over Europe had “merited a particular attention by both the international community and the U.S. administration.”

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