It seems like an obscure treaty signed in 1994 by Bill Clinton could land us side by side with the Brits in the Crimea defending the Ukraine from the Rooskies. Tennyson is not pleased...
The new Ukrainian government said Friday it had been invaded by Russia and appealed for the United States and United Kingdom to protect it, as guaranteed under a 1994 agreement.Story here and here.
The move came after a series of armed takeovers and provocations in the Crimea region that began on Thursday with the seizure of the regional parliament building and continued on Friday:
- Armed groups took over access to both main airports on the Crimean Peninsula.
- The Ukrainian border guard service claimed that more than 10 Russian military helicopters flew from Russia into Ukrainian airspace over the Crimea region. It also said eight Russian transport planes had landed in Crimea with unknown cargo.
- Russia confirmed that armoured vehicles attached to its naval base were moving around Crimea for “security” reasons.
- Uniformed Russian servicemen were blocking off a unit of Ukrainian border guards in the port city of Sevastopol, where part of the Russian Black Sea fleet is based, according to Ukraine’s border service.
- Ukrainian International, Ukraine’s biggest airline, said the airspace over the Crimea region had been closed.
The U.N. Security Council will hold private consultations to discuss the crisis in Ukraine on Friday afternoon, a U.N spokesman said. Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in separate phone calls with European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged Canada’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the face of “worrying” developments in the former Soviet state, even as Foreign Minister John Baird met with the new leadership in Kiev.
In Washington, President Barack Obama expressed concern about reported Russian military movement inside crisis-torn Ukraine and warned of consequences.
“Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing,” he said in a brief appearance. “The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”