NATO condemn Russia's military action in Ukraine's Crimea

Sunday, March 02, 2014

"I have convened the North Atlantic Council today because of Russia’s military action in Ukraine. And because of President Putin’s threats against this sovereign nation," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, told the press before the NAC meeting.

BRUSSELS/BEIJING/KIEV - NATO has urged Russia to cease its military activities in the Crimean Autonomous Republic, which according to international law, falls under the sovereignty of Ukraine.

A meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC), the political decision-making body of NATO, to discuss the developments in Ukraine, especially in the Crimea region took place on Sunday.

Gathering the permanent representatives of NATO member countries, the meeting voiced concerns over the tension in Ukraine and Russia`s move to use military force in Ukraine`s Crimean Autonomous Republic.

"I have convened the North Atlantic Council today because of Russia’s military action in Ukraine. And because of President Putin’s threats against this sovereign nation," NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the press before the NAC meeting.

The NATO chief urged that Russia must stop its military activities and its threats, describing Moscow`s attitude to Ukraine as "violating the principles of the United Nations Charter and threatening peace and security in Europe."

China called upon all sides involved in the Ukraine situation to comply with international law and seek a political solution to their disputes through dialogue and negotiations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang condemned the violence over the past days in Ukraine, saying, "China is deeply concerned with the current Ukraine situation."

Qin spoke to voice China`s stance after the Federation Council, upper house of the Russian parliament, authorized President Vladimir Putin to use military forces to protect Russian citizens and soldiers in Ukrainian territory.

Qin ensured that China always complies with the principle of non-interference in any country`s internal affairs, highlighting that Beijing respects the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, a meeting in support of Ukraine`s territorial integrity was held in Independence Square in Ukraine`s capital Kiev.

"It doesn`t matter which language we are speaking, we have to do everything to protect our national interests," said opposition Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) party leader Vitali Klitschko addressing people at Independence Square.

He highlighted that they must everything to make Ukraine a European country and sign association agreement. "For now I urge you to avoid provocations and any calls for separatism."

Former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, speaking to the crowd at Independence Square, said "Ukraine is now facing a threat but the Ukrainian people are one of the bravest nations in Europe which won its first victory by toppling the Victor Yanukovych government."

He expressed his support for the fight of the Ukrainian people against "attacks from Moscow."

Earlier on Saturday, Russia’s parliament unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin`s request for potential use of armed forces in Ukraine’s Crimean Autonomous Republic, as Crimea’s prime minister tightens the hold on security forces.

Putin’s motion to deploy Russian troops in Crimea came after Sergey Aksenov, the prime minister of Crimea, called "for assistance in guaranteeing peace on the territory of the autonomous Republic of Crimea," upon which Kremlin said it would not disregard the appeal.

Claiming control of the security forces in the country, Aksenov said that the military, police and other security services would receive orders directly from him, according to Russian news agency Interfax.

A joint statement is expected to be made on behalf of the NATO alliance.

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