April 22, 2011 By

Ukraine Face off: Kiev Ups Ante

2_10Ukraine has mobilised troops and the defence ministry called up for reserves after Russian Prime Minster, Dmitry Medvedev, hinted on Sunday that there might be chances of war. Amidst the escalating fear of a conflict between the two nations, the world leaders are striving for a diplomatic solution urging Putin not to use any force.

Ukraine’s representatives to the United Nations said that Kiev would ask for international military support if Russia expanded its military action in his country. Thousands demonstrated against the Russian military action at Kiev’s Independence Square, with electrifying sermons and placards reading “Putin, hands off Ukraine!”. Few hundreds of protestors also waved banners showing “No War” near Red Square and the Defence Ministry in Moscow on Sunday. Several of them were detained.

Reports say that Moscow has put 150,000 troops on high alert near Ukraine’s border. It denies the Ukrainian allegations that it sent the protesters hoisting Russian flags in some eastern towns. On his official FaceBook page, Medvedev called the recent ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych a “seizure of power.”

Obama spoke to Putin for ninety minutes on telephone on Saturday after the Russian leader declared he had the right to intervene and quickly secured unanimous approval from his Parliament. Putin said that Russia had the right to protect its interests.

Putin told Obama that Russian speakers were facing threats from Ukraine’s new leaders, who took over after Yanukovich fled huge protests against his repression and rejection of a trade deal with the European Union. Putin stood firm in his stand in a telephone call with Merkel on Sunday, the Kremlin said. Reports also say that he and Merkel agreed that Russia and Germany would continue consultations to seek the “normalisation” of the situation.

John Kerry, the United States Secretary of The State, condemned Russia 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 programme “Face the Nation”.

Obama held calls with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski. The leaders expressed concern over Russia’s action and stressed that “dialogue between Ukraine and Russia should start immediately, with international facilitation as appropriate,” the White House said in a statement. Britain’s Prime Minster, David Cameron and Obama have agreed that Russia would face “significant costs” if it does not change course after deploying troops in Ukraine.

A statement from the G7 said it was suspending preparations for June’s G8 summit in the Russian resort of Sochi because of the “clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”. It called on Moscow to “address any ongoing security or human rights concerns that it has with Ukraine through direct negotiations”.

The G7 nations comprise the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, while the G8 includes those nations plus Russia. G7 has extended its support to Ukraine’s economic assistance and revival as long as Kiev agreed to pursue economic reforms sought by the International Monetary Fund. In a statement, it welcomed the decision of the IMF to send a team to Ukraine this week to begin technical and policy discussions with the Ukrainian authorities.

Posted in: Uncategorized