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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/18/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

New 'Cold War' fears arise; Crimea to be absorbed into Russia

The United States and its European allies reject the idea - but Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree recognizing Crimea as a sovereign state, paving the way for it to be absorbed into Russia. A referendum this past weekend purportedly had 97 percent of all Crimean voters approving the plan, breaking up with Ukraine.

Ukraine's acting President Olexander Turchynov said Kiev was ready for negotiations with Russia, but it would never accept the annexation of Crimea.

Ukraine's acting President Olexander Turchynov said Kiev was ready for negotiations with Russia, but it would never accept the annexation of Crimea.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/18/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Crimea, Vladimir Putin, annexation


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The European Union and the U.S. maintain that the referendum was illegal and imposed sanctions on 21 officials from Russia and Ukraine.

Both the E.U. and the U.S. published separate lists of sanctions which involved travel bans and asset freezes against both Russian and Ukrainian government officials and MPs.

Prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Taken over by pro-Russian gunmen in late February, Crimea made moves to separate itself from Ukraine after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled -- into Russia following months of street protests.

The Kremlin denies the gunmen are Russian soldiers, but concedes that MPs authorized Putin to use force after a formal plea for help from Yanukovych.

Crimea has been part of Ukraine since 1954, but much of its population is ethnic Russian.

Among those targeted for sanctions were Crimea's acting leader Sergei Aksyonov and parliamentary speaker Vladimir Konstantinov. The U.S. list included Dmitry Rogozin, a Russian deputy prime minister, Valentina Matviyenko, head of the upper house of the Russian parliament and Yanukovych.

U.S. President Barack Obama said in a news conference that Washington stood "ready to impose further sanctions" depending on whether Russia escalated or de-escalated the situation in Ukraine. Obama also stressed there was still a path to solve the crisis diplomatically.

E.U. Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said those singled out were responsible for threatening Ukraine's territorial integrity and independence, but added that there was still time to avoid "a negative spiral" in the situation.

In response, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov accused the US of a "pathological unwillingness to acknowledge reality," saying the U.S. wishes to "impose their own unilateral, unbalanced approaches" on the rest of the world.

Ukraine's acting President Olexander Turchynov said Kiev was ready for negotiations with Russia, but it would never accept the annexation of Crimea.

Crimea's regional parliament, which was disbanded by Kiev last week, earlier declared independence. Ukrainian laws now no longer applied in the region, MPs said, and all Ukrainian state property belonged to an independent Crimea.

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