Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ukraine accuses Russia of deploying troops in Crimea

(February 28 BBC News Europe) Ukraine's acting President Oleksander Turchynov has accused Russia of deploying troops to Crimea and trying to provoke Kiev into "armed conflict". In a TV address, he said Moscow wanted the new interim government to react to provocations so it could annex Crimea. Russia's UN ambassador said any troop movements in Crimea were within an existing arrangement with Ukraine. US President Barack Obama warned of the "costs" of any Russian intervention in the Ukraine. President Obama: "Any violation of Ukraine sovereignty would be deeply destabilising". In a statement from the White House he said: "Any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilising, which is not in the interests of Ukraine, Russia or Europe." He said Washington stood by Ukraine's new interim government and commended "its restraint and its commitment to uphold its international obligations". President Turchynov appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to "stop provocations and start negotiations". He said Russia was behaving as it did before sending troops into Georgia in 2008 over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which have large ethnic Russian populations. "They are implementing the scenario like the one carried out in Abkhazia, when after provoking a conflict, they started an annexation of the territory," President Turchynov said.