Summary WASHINGTON -- The United States would not recognize a referendum by Crimea to leave Ukraine, and a shift of that region to Russia "is not a done deal," a top Obama administration official said Sunday. The former vice president under President George W. Bush suggested conducting joint military operations with NATO countries that border Russia, offering equipment and training to Ukraine and reinstating the ballistic missile defense system that was planned for Eastern Europe but scrapped by Obama in 2009. Russia had opposed the deployment of the system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
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Summary KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Crimea's Parliament said Tuesday that if the public votes to become part of Russia, the peninsula will declare itself independent and propose becoming a Russian state. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by telephone Tuesday at Washington's initiative. "From the Russian side, the necessity was underlined of taking into complete account the interests of all Ukrainians and all regions in the search for an exit from the crisis and also the respect of the right of the residents of Crimea to determine their fate on their own in accordance with the norms of international law," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Summary AFP Merkel calls Russia's Crimea action 'annexation': party source. s lawmakers, a participant said. Merkel told the conservative legislators that Russia had effectively "stolen" the peninsula and added that "one can call it an annexation", the party source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Summary KIEV/SEVASTOPOL (Reuters) - Ukraine's interim leaders established a new National Guard on Tuesday and appealed to the United States and Britain for assistance against what they called Russian aggression in Crimea under a post-Cold War treaty. Ukrainian premier Yatsneniuk said he had been unable to reach either Russian President Vladimir Putin or Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for the past five days. Russia says the overthrow of Yanukovich was a coup backed by the West and that it has the right to defend the interests of the ethnic Russian majority in Crimea, a territory of two million that the Kremlin tranferred from Russia to Ukraine at a time when the collapse of the Soviet state was unthinkable.
Summary KIEV (Reuters) - Sunday's vote in Ukraine's Crimea is being officially billed as a chance for the peninsula's peoples to decide fairly and freely their future - but in fact there is no room on the ballot paper for voting "Nyet" to control by Russia. The second asks: "Are you in favour of restoring the 1992 Constitution and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?". At first glance, the second option seems to offer the prospects of the peninsula remaining within Ukraine.
Summary On Tuesday, Crimea's parliament voted for independence from Ukraine if the people pass a referendum on March 16 to join the Russian Federation. With the support of 78 of its 81 members, the chamber passed a "declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea", saying: "In the case that the referendum on 16 March shows that Crimea should become part of the Russian Federation, then Crimea will become an independent and sovereign state in the form of a republic."