Ukrainian PM claims Russia has declared war on the Ukraine
Russia declared war on Ukraine: Yatsenyuk
Sun Mar 2, 2014 6:33PM GMT
New Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has accused Russia of declaring war on the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev on Sunday, Yatsenyuk described Russia’s military deployment to the autonomous region of Crimea in southern Ukraine as “a declaration of war.”
“This is not a threat, this is actually a declaration of war to my country and we urge [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin to pull back his military,” he said.
The premier also warned that Ukraine is currently on the verge of plunging into a “disaster” if Moscow doesn’t pull its forces out.
This comes after reports suggesting that hundreds of Russian troops are heading for Crimea as the political crisis continues in the former Soviet state.
According to witness reports, some 12 military trucks carrying troops, two ambulances, and a Tiger vehicle armed with a machine gun were on the road on Sunday from the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol, the home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet, to Simferopol, Crimea’s administrative center.
Meanwhile, NATO has called on Russia to stop all its military activities on Ukrainian soil.
US President Barack Obama has also urged Moscow to withdraw its forces or face political and economic isolation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, said his country will do everything to protect its interests in Ukraine.
Ukraine has been gripped by crisis since November last year, when ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.
The Ukrainian parliament removed Yanukovych from power last week and named Oleksandr Turchynov, the legislature’s speaker, as the country’s interim president.