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 Seventeen member states of the 57-nation Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, including the United States, have so far confirmed they will take part in the changed mission. It was the third straight day the OSCE mission had been turned back while trying to cross the narrow isthmus connecting the isolated Black Sea peninsula to the rest of Ukraine.
Summary And the US knew that Russia was laying the ground to make a move on the strategically useful peninsula. Armed men, believed to be Russian servicemen, stand guard outside a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol, March 11, 2014. Dan Murphy is a staff writer for the Monitor's international desk, focused on the Middle East.
Summary As the referendum on Crimea's future draws close, the authorities there adopt a declaration of independence, saying there's already a precedent for the move, set by the UN decision on Kosovo. Ultra-nationalist groups are trying to plunge Ukraine into civil conflict as the West turns a blind eye - the country's ousted President speaks out for the first time in nearly a fortnight.
Summary "The Russian foreign ministry considers the decision of the parliament of Crimea absolutely lawful," the ministry said in a statement on its website ahead of a Sunday referendum on whether the region should become part of Russia.
Summary Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a news conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow March 4, 2014. Former and current officials paint a picture of a leader who counts on the unswerving loyalty of a handful of advisers from his administration and security services to draft policy that has plunged relations with the West to a new post-Cold War low.
Summary Despite protests between pro-Ukraine forces against Russia's hold on Crimea, a pro-Russian force opened fire while seizing a Ukrainian military base in Crimea on Monday. Listen to the rest of her interview here...[ LarsLarson ].
Summary The hold of Kiev's new Western-backed leaders on the separatist region loosened still further when pro-Kremlin gunmen seized the air traffic control tower at Crimea's main international airport and cancelled all flights except for those to and from Moscow. Last month's rise to power in Kiev of nationalist leaders with cultural and political links to Europe prompted Putin to seek the right to use force against Ukraine in defence of the country's Russian speakers.
Summary Ukraine is an important transit route for shipping Russian gas by pipeline to the EU, which relies on Moscow for about a third of its supplies. "South Stream is confidently moving ahead. Agreements on the laying of the first leg of the pipeline will be signed before the end of March, as well as agreements on the supplies of pipelines for the second leg," Gazprom said after the South Stream consortium, which it leads, met in Switzerland.
Summary That could offer a way of de-escalating the standoff between Russia and the West. "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 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. "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 Berlin (AFP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel labelled Russia's action in Ukraine?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.
Summary Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, 30, is the youngest billionaire in the Forbes 400 richest Americans list of 2014. Sean Parker, founding president of Facebook completes the trio for the 'social network' at fifth position on the list with a net worth of $3 billion.
Summary Pro-democracy activists, sleep, rest and walk on a street near the government headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, in Hong Kong. Protesters put on goggles and wrap themselves in clear wrap after hearing a rumour that police were coming with tear gas outside the Hong Kong Government Complex on September 29, 2014 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Summary Prosecutors are seeking the maximum penalty of life imprisonment against Karadzic, 69, a leading political figure during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia that left 100,000 dead. The massacres in July of 1995 were the worst atrocity of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, which saw the breakup of the federation of Yugoslavia into six successor states.
Summary Civilians inspect the site of double car bombings in the northern Shiite district al-Hurriyah in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. BAGHDAD (AP) -- The U.N. mission in Baghdad says at least 1,119 Iraqis died in violence in September but that the real figure was likely much higher since the organization's death toll does not include killings in areas controlled by the Islamic State group.