Ukraine’s new authorities ordered to mobilize for military actions and the U.S. president Barack Obama threatened to isolate Russia economically after Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade his neighbor which it considered as declaration of war.
“This is not a threat: this is actually the declaration of war to my country,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk describes Putin’s actions. Yatsenuik heads a pro-Western government that was formed after Viktor Yanukovich was ousted last week.
Russian president got permission from his parliament on Saturday to use army to protect Russian citizens in Crimea and told Obama he had the right to defend Russian interests and nationals.
Russian military sources have already bloodlessly seized Crimea where Moscow has a naval base, Reuters writes.
On Sunday, Russian troops surrounded several small Ukrainian military outposts demanding Ukranian forces to disarm. Some refused, leading to standoffs, but no shots were heard.
While Western countries are discussing possible way to help Ukrained handle its crisis, the United States said it was focused on economic, diplomatic and political measures, but made clear it was not seriously considering military action.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to visit Kiev tomorrow to show “strong support for Ukrainian sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference or provocation,” the State Department said in a statement.
Kerry has previously condemned Moscow for what he called an “incredible act of aggression” and brandished the threat of economic sanctions.
“You just don’t, in the 21st century, behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext,” Kerry told the CBS program “Face the Nation”.
He went on, adding that Russia still had a “right set of choices” to defuse the crisis. And if doesn’t follow it, G8 countries and other nations were prepared to “to go to the hilt to isolate Russia”.
“They are prepared to isolate Russia economically. The rouble is already going down. Russia has major economic challenges,” he said, noting also visa bans, asset freezes and trade isolation as possible steps.
Meanwhile, President Obama discussed the Ukraine crisis with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron. Cameron said they agreed Russia would pay “significant costs” unless it changed course.
At Kiev’s Independence Square, where people who stand for integration with Europe camped out for months, thousands demonstrated against Russian latest actions. Speakers delivered rousing orations and placards read: “Putin, hands off Ukraine!”
“If there is a need to protect the nation, we will go and defend the nation,” said Oleh, an advertising executive cooking over an open fire at the square where he has been camped for three months. “If Putin wants to take Ukraine for himself, he will fail. We want to live freely and we will live freely.”