News / Europe

    Russia to Unveil Solution to Ukraine Crisis

    Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) meets with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Sochi, March 10, 2014.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) meets with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Sochi, March 10, 2014.
    VOA News
    Russia plans to unveil its own solution to the Ukraine crisis, a plan that is likely to run counter to U.S. proposals.

    "We prepared, together with members of the Russian Security Council, our counter-proposals. They aim to resolve the situation on the basis of international law and take into account the interests of all Ukrainians without exception," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a televised meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

    At a meeting with Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Lavrov said he received proposals from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry which "did not completely satisfy us."  Lavrov also said Kerry had declined an invitation to visit Russia for further talks.

    On Monday the State Department clarified Kerry's stance, saying the top U.S. diplomat needs concrete evidence that Russia will stop its military advance into Ukraine and engage seriously in American diplomatic proposals to de-escalate the crisis before meeting with Lavrov.

    Moscow has consistently described the ouster of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych as the illegal overthrow of a legitimate head of state. Russian news agencies report Yanukovych is expected to make his second public appearance since stepping down and fleeing Kyiv last month on Tuesday.

    Meantime, NATO will start reconnaissance flights over Poland and Romania to monitor the situation in Ukraine, the alliance said Monday. Ukraine is not a NATO member but Russia's actions in Crimea have alarmed neighboring countries, including alliance members that used to be dominated by the Soviet Union.

    Referendum

    Russian forces have tightened their grip on Crimea as authorities in the breakaway territory push their proposal to join Moscow, a decision it plans to put to a referendum on March 16.

    The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine said Monday that the United States is still ruling out possible military action in Crimea. Geoffrey Pyatt said any diplomatic solution must address Moscow’s interests in the strategically important peninsula. Pyatt reiterated that the U.S. will not recognize the results of the "so-called" referendum in Crimea set for March 16.

    The White House said Monday that President Barack Obama began a new round of diplomatic consultations on Ukraine with phone calls to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

    Despite international objections, the chief of Crimea's election commission said Monday that he is moving ahead with preparations for next Sunday's unification referendum. Myhkailo Malyshev said all registered Crimean voters are eligible to vote.

    Putin has defended the separatist drive in Crimea as consistent with international law, and a regional leader said Ukrainian troops remaining there should leave the territory unless they renounce their loyalty to Kyiv.

    Crimea has invited observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the referendum, according to Russia's RIA news agency.
    On Saturday, an unarmed observer mission from the same Vienna-based group tried to cross into Crimea but had to turn back after warning shots were fired.

    Ukrainian interim prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk vowed Sunday not to give up "a single centimeter" of territory.

    Yatsenyuk is scheduled to meet Obama on Wednesday to discuss the standoff over Crimea, a strategic peninsula in southern Ukraine with a Russian-speaking majority. A White House statement said the visit will highlight the United State's strong support of the people of Ukraine, and will include talks on economic aid and preparations for May elections there.

    Shots fired

    Meanwhile, Ukraine's defense department said armed men in uniforms surrounded and seized a Crimean naval base at Chernomorskoye, and a military hospital in Simferopol. The New York Times newspaper reported police interrupted an interview with a local man in Chernomorskoye, threatening its reporters and seizing their notes.

    Reporters Without Borders said Monday that unidentified gunmen seized two female Ukrainian journalists in Crimea. The group warned that attacks on the media were attempts to turn the region into a "black hole for news."

    Rival demonstrations

    As demonstrators staged rival rallies in Crimea and throughout Ukraine, street violence flared in Sevastopol when pro-Russian activists and Cossacks attacked a group of Ukrainians.

    Despite the reports, Russia has accused far-right activists in Ukraine and the pro-Western Kyiv government of creating "chaos." A statement released Monday from the Russian foreign ministry, which singled out the far-right Ukrainian group "Right Sector," also accused Western governments of ignoring the violence.

    Russia denies it has troops on the peninsula beyond those regularly stationed with its Sevastopol-based Black Sea fleet. Ukraine's much smaller navy is also based in the Crimean port city.  Witnesses say although the soldiers have no insignia identifying them, they are clearly Russian.

    Some information in this report was provided by Reuters news agency.

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    Comment Sorting
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    by: Outlooker from: Solar system
    March 12, 2014 5:44 AM
    What about this angle?
    Ethnic population of some territory declares referendum on self-determination (like Saar, Kosovo, Falklands and even German reunion).
    Mainland immediately got under international pressure, despite of non-interference.
    Pressure became stronger when mainland undertook measures to protect weaponry from being looted by armed extremists.
    Why not to wait for referendum results and support people choice whatever it is?

    by: Anonymous
    March 10, 2014 9:29 PM
    Hey International Community, obvious NOONE can trust Putin after his acts over the past several years...

    BE SURE to watch what is going on in Syria during this entire mess in Ukraine. I have a feeling this is also a way to decoy perhaps some actions happening in Syria. Keep a good watch with your intelligence. Wouldn't doubt if assad was using gas again (the gas he likely purchased from Putin).

    by: Alfredo G. from: Orlando
    March 10, 2014 7:45 PM
    In really "russia" stink..!


    by: Anonymous
    March 10, 2014 6:42 PM
    Hey Ukraine, Do not recognize the so called "Putin created Referendum", it wasn't created by Ukrainian Government. Nato and the rest of the world backs you 100% on your decisions. If Russia disagrees with Ukrainian government decision they have to live with it.... Otherwise if Russia does not recognize the Ukrainians, and their current government (not the one in exile or hiding from criminal charges), then it is in fact a violation of international law by Russia.

    by: Martin Diarrhea from: Congo
    March 10, 2014 6:40 PM
    When one studies history, all events seem to revolve around the applications and degenerations of war. Great feats of human understanding, realization and enlightenment barely register in the mental footnotes of the average person. War is what we remember, idealize and aggrandize, which is why war is the tool most often exploited by oligarchy to distract the masses while it centralizes power.

    With the exception of a few revolutions, most wars are instigated and controlled by financial elites, manipulating governments on both sides of the game to produce a preconceived result. The rise of National Socialism in Germany, for instance, was largely funded by corporate entities based in the U.S., including Rockefeller giant Standard Oil, JPMorgan and even IBM, which built the collating machines specifically used to organize Nazi extermination camps, the same machines IBM representatives serviced on site at places like Auschwitz. As a public figure, Adolf Hitler was considered a joke by most people in German society, until, of course, the Nazi Party received incredible levels of corporate investment. This aid was most evident in what came to be known as the Keppler Fund created through the Keppler Circle, a group of interests with contacts largely based in the U.S.

    George W. Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, used his position as director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation to launder money for the Third Reich throughout the war. After being exposed and charged for trading with the enemy, the case against Bush magically disappeared in a puff of smoke, and the Bush family went on to become one of the most powerful political forces in America.

    Without the aid of international conglomerates and banks, the Third Reich would have never risen to power.

    by: Anonymous
    March 10, 2014 6:37 PM
    It isn't ANY of Putins business to create a solution for the problem he just created. It is Putins business to get his thugs out of Ukraine immediately. He is breaking the law by invading somewhere that is not in fact his, and creating a "Vote" in that section of the country.

    Would Putin like if the west went in to Chechnya and broke it off the map of Russia? I highly doubt it...

    Putin has no business in Ukraine, and should not be recognized by anyone. The only ones that have a say in Ukraine is the current leader. Not the leader that has an arrest warrant for him for the murder of protestors.

    We are with the people of Ukraine, obviously not the Russians.
    Russia has to be penalized by the world now for their actions, long overdue because they should of already been punished because of their involvement with the murder of thousands and thousands in Syria.

    Before Putin entered Ukraine the ethnic Russians did not have a problem, and did not want to seperate. Only when Russia entered did they want to seperate... SO... Now what the Ukrainian government should do is tell any Russian in Crimea if they do not want to be Ukrainian or led by a Ukrainian government, to move to Russia.

    by: Mary Creamlick from: D.C.
    March 10, 2014 6:35 PM
    Just MORE PROPAGANDA from, VOA.

    by: Klaud Dirtyfart from: UK
    March 10, 2014 5:47 PM
    The "solution", what a joke!

    What about the Blackwater Mercenaries? Pro-Russian citizens have twice stormed the regional administration headquarters in the east Ukrainian city. SBU, Ukraine’s security service, arrested Pavel Gubarev, a Donetsk businessman who called himself the “people’s governor.”

    On Friday Press TV featured a video showing men with weapons and body armor on a street where a pro-Russian demonstration was held. On Wednesday a Russian diplomat told Interfax that 300 employees of Blackwater, now known as Academi, had arrived in the pro-Russian city.

    The security outfit is notorious for its trigger-happy posture. In 2007, contractors from the company killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad as they cleared the way for U.S. State Department vehicles transporting Bush administration diplomats en route to a meeting with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officials.

    USAID is known for its collaboration on “themed revolution” efforts with the National Endowment for Democracy and the George Soros Open Society Institute. “USAID has become a critical part of the security, intelligence and defense axis in Washington,” writes Eva Golinger. “Wherever a coup d’etat, a colored revolution or a regime change favorable to US interests occurs, USAID and its flow of dollars is there.”

    The mercenaries in Donetsk “are soldiers of fortune proficient in combat operations,” the diplomatic source told Interfax, according to the Daily Mail. “Most of them had operated under private contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other states. Most of them come from the United States.”

    “On the face of it, the uniforms of the people in the videos are consistent with US mercs – they don’t look like Russian soldiers mercs,” said Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, a security expert with the Institute for Policy Research & Development. “Of course the other possibility is it’s all Russian propaganda.”

    In February it was reported troops without insignia appearing in Crimea belonged to Vnevedomstvenaya Okhrana, a private security company contracted by the Russian interior ministry to protect Russian Navy installations and assets.

    “They don’t have Russian military uniforms and the Russia government is denying they are part of the Russian military. Actually most of them may be Ukrainian citizens. But these are people that are legally allowed to perform services to the Russian fleet,” Dimitri Simes, president of the Center for the National Interest, told The Daily Beast.

    by: nvr from: USA
    March 10, 2014 12:18 PM
    Pyatt reiterated that the U.S. will not recognize the results of the "so-called" referendum in Crimea set for March 16. The US government will only support a referendum that is in its National Interest. Remember the Arab Spring in Egypt? US government did not like the results of President Morsi so we stood back and let the Egyptian military take over.

    In Response

    by: Al from: USA
    March 10, 2014 2:30 PM
    The real threat facing the United States is its convuluted foreign policy. The US only talks about democracy and human rights when it is in her interests. Take Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Libya for example. All of these countries have dictatorship supported by the US. To be anti-democractic in the face of the US, just oppose its meddling and stand up for your people. This is why Latin America has moved away from the US and so has many other countries around. Fool me once, fool me twice shame on me.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    March 10, 2014 11:16 AM
    REMEMBER? ... England forced Ireland to give up Northern Ireland to them, and forced Argentina to give up the Falkland Islands to them, and the US and EU forced Serbia to give up land for Kosovo, and the US and NATO forced Iraq to give up land to the Kurds, and the US forced China to give up the Island Taiwan, and gave the Diaoyu Islands to Japan, and not one western country complained, did they? Western hypocrisy? .... The nations who's lands were taken by force complained too .. (BUT?) .. not one western country listened to them, did they? CRAZY isn't it? ... How the western world protests what non-western countries do, isn't it? ......... REALLY?
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