WORLD LEADERS RESPOND TO UKRAINE INCURSION
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TOP STORIES / WORLD / MARCH 3, 2014
World leaders respond to Ukraine incursion
GEROWYN HANSON (c)
In the wake of Ukraine’s head of Navy, Denis Berezovsky’s defecting and swearing allegiance to Sergiy Aksyonov, the unrecognized pro-Russian leader in Crimea, world leaders dash to put a lid on the unstable situation arising.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama, spent ninety minutes on the phone with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. President Obama has responded to the mounting tensions in Ukraine by letting Russia know that, “there will be costs” if there is a military reaction in the region.
The new Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk is fearful of an imminent Russian invasion.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has made it clear that there will be a range of sanctions issued against Russia and he is flying to Kiev to discuss the escalating crisis.
France has warned that the Sochi G8 summit will be suspended.
Acting Ukrainian President, Oleksander Turchinov has appealed to President Putin to cease provocations in the predominantly ethnic Russian region of Crimea. He likened Russia’s military presence there to the incursion into Georgia when its states of Abkhazia and Ossetia were attempting independence.
Meanwhile in Australia, Prime Minister, Tony Abbott warned President Putin to “back off” from an offensive foray into Ukraine. Having won parliamentary approval for sending troops into the Crimea, however, Putin believes he has the sanction to go ahead with the intervention.
Julie Bishop, Australia’s Foreign Minister, summoned Russian Ambassador Vladimir Morozov to meet with her secretary to discuss the emergency situation in the Ukraine. He has spoken to reporters telling them that Russia intends to act to “ensure the interests of Russians in Ukraine”.
DFAT has warned Australians not to travel to Ukraine.
Photo via Alexander Grinvald