"If there is a referendum and it votes to move Crimea out of Ukraine and to Russia, we won't recognize it and most of the world won't either," deputy national security advisor Tony Blinken said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Russia had opposed the deployment of the system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Kerry told a Senate committee that Moscow should expect that the U.S. and the European Union to take measures against it on Monday should it accept and act on the results of this weekend's referendum in Crimea. "The Russian Federation supported the idea of a rapid approval and rapid deployment of a special monitoring mission for Ukraine," Thomas Greminger, Switzerland's ambassador to the OSCE, told reporters after a meeting of the group's envoys in Vienna.
Thomas Peter / ReutersA pro-Russia guard manning a checkpoint outside the city. In world capitals, diplomats from the East and the West have scrambled to find solutions to the crisis, which has been described as the worst since the end of the Cold War. "I want to be a citizen of Russia in order to enjoy economic stability," Vladimir Meshkov, 47, said in front of the Russian consulate.
Magnitude 6.3 earthquake strikes off Japan's southern Kyushu island (Reuters). Alexey Pushkov, chairman of the Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, said: "We acknowledged very serious disagreements (with MEPs) in assessments of the situation in the Ukraine. However we came to the conclusion that it's better to minimize the damage which could occur in this situation because it's neither in in the interest of Russia nor of the EU: that's where we agreed."
The chief of general staff of the Russian armed forces, General Valery Gerasimov, discussed "the state of Russia-NATO relations and the current situation in Ukraine" with NATO General Knud Bartels, the report said. (Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Robin Pomeroy).
First it was the United States, which threatened Russia with economic sanctions and even a removal from the G-8 over their intervention in Ukraine and the Crimea. And just as news tying the U.S. to the confiscation of Ukrainian gold from their central bank comes out, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts appears to be correct in saying that the entire conflict in Ukraine is tied to an economic war against Russia, with the U.S. and the EU trying to confiscate or control their oil pipelines in an attempt to force the continuation of the Petro-Dollar system.
" We are doing all we can to avoid war , whether in Crimea or in any other region of Ukraine," Turchynov said, adding that the country's forces were at full combat readiness. Last week, the Pentagon sent six F-15 fighter jets to Lithuania to bolster air patrols over the Baltics, adding to the four such planes that previously had been there for the mission.
Women hold Crimean Tatar flags and placards reading "Peace in Crimea it is peace in all world" during an anti-war rally in Simferopol on March 8, 2014. Many only started returning to the peninsula in the run up to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. "We believe a referendum will not help settle the crisis in the country. The Crimean Tatar community in Turkey is worried about the situation," a Turkish official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"The Russian Federation supported the idea of a rapid approval and rapid deployment of a special monitoring mission for Ukraine," Thomas Greminger, Switzerland's ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told reporters after a meeting of OSCE envoys in Vienna.
In what he said might be a "big step forward," the chairman of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe announced that Russia now supports the idea of an OSCE mission in Ukraine, including Crimea, to monitor the situation. As we've previously said, Crimea has been the focus of attention as the ripple effects of the protests that led to last month's ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych have spread.
Lines of customers could be seen forming on Thursday outside Privat and other banks amid uncertainty over the peninsula's future. Oleh Serha, a spokesman for Privat bank, said all banks in Crimea are struggling to deliver more cash to the region, where tensions are high between ethnic Russians and minority ethnic Ukrainians and Tartars. Its government and Western nations have denounced the referendum as illegitimate and warned Russia against trying to annex Crimea.
The development was announced a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the crisis in Ukraine with Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, whose country chairs the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). At the OSCE's Vienna headquarters, however, Switzerland's envoy to the body that seeks to prevent conflicts on the continent said Russia supports "the idea of a rapid approval and rapid deployment of a special monitoring mission for Ukraine".
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, shakes hands with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at a Security Council meeting in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi, Russia, Thursday, March 13, 2014. But on Thursday Russia's Defense Ministry announced that thousands of Russian troops in their regions of Rostov, Belgorod, Kursk and Tambov bordering Ukraine are involved in the exercises, which will continue until the end of the month. In the southern Rostov region, the maneuvers involved parachuting in 1,500 troops, the ministry said.