The browser or device you are using is out of date. It has known security flaws and a limited feature set. You will not see all the features of some websites. Please update your browser. A list of the most popular browsers can be found below.
The Obama administration says any Russian threat to Ukraine's navy would be a "dangerous escalation" of an extremely tense situation.
The State Department says Monday Washington would hold Moscow directly accountable for such an escalation but did not elaborate on potential consequences. But department spokeswoman Jen Psaki adds that she could not confirm if Russia had in fact made such threats.
Earlier Monday, a Ukrainian military spokesman said Russia had issued an ultimatum to the crews of two Ukrainian warships in Crimea, demanding that they immediately surrender or be stormed and seized.
Secretary of State John Kerry is leaving for Ukraine late Monday and then will travel to France and Italy. He had planned to see his Russian counterpart in Paris, but Psaki said that meeting was no longer certain.
The EU calls on Russia to immediately withdraw its armed forces to the areas of their permanent stationing, in accordance with the Agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet stationing on the territory of Ukraine of 1997. Russia should also without delay agree to the request by Ukraine to hold consultations, as foreseen in the bilateral Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership of 1997, and to take part in urgent consultations among all signatories and adherents of the Budapest Memorandum of 1994.The Council recalls the EU's ambitions and openness to a relationship with Russia based on mutual interest and respect and regrets that these common objectives have now been put in doubt. The EU and those Member States who are participants of G8, have decided for the time being to suspend their participation in activities associated with the preparations for the G8 Summit in Sochi in June, until the environment comes back where the G8 is able to have meaningful discussion. In the absence of de-escalating steps by Russia, the EU shall decide about consequences for bilateral relations between the EU and Russia, for instance suspending bilateral talks with Russia on visa matters as well as on the New Agreement, and will consider further targeted measures. The Council decides to remain permanently seized, in order to be in a position to take rapidly all necessary measuresThe European Union commends the measured response demonstrated so far by Ukraine. The European Union stands by the efforts of the new Ukrainian Government to stabilise the situation and pursue the course of reforms. The EU reaffirms the necessity of further constitutional reform in Ukraine and to hold free, fair and transparent Presidential elections with OSCE-ODIHR observation. The EU reaffirms the utmost importance of ensuring inclusiveness at all levels of government by the Ukrainian authorities, including through steps designed to reach out to all Ukrainian regions, population groups and to ensure full protection of national minorities in accordance with Ukraine’s international commitments. In this regard, it encourages Ukraine to draw on the expertise of the Council of Europe and the OSCE.
Concerns about press freedom in Crimea are growing after an attack on the Crimean Center for Investigative Journalism in Simeropol over the weekend.
A group of about 30 masked gunmen assumed to be Russian militia broke into the Crimean Center for Investigative Journalism on Saturday, the Global Investigative Journalism Network reported.
The event was the latest in media censorship as Russian troops invade and take over the Crimea region in Ukraine. US officials announced Monday that Moscow has now taken “complete operational control of the Crimean peninsula.” Secretary of State John Kerry plans to fly to Kiev to try to prevent a Russian advance deeper into Ukraine.
In Saturday's incident, armed men broke a window and forced their way into the Crimean Center's offices, according to the Global Investigative Journalism Network. The group took over the headquarters, after leader Konstantin Knyrik reportedly said that from “this building does not come true information."Journalists from the office said that they left unharmed, and also managed to back up their archives.
“I am deeply concerned about the media freedom situation in Simferopol and the Crimean peninsula as a whole, following the current political developments in Ukraine,” the Representative on Freedom of the Media for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Dunja Mijatović said.
"On the face of things if Russia were to move into eastern Ukraine then the Ukrainian forces should be able to put up a better performance than tiny Georgia's armed forces did when the Russians moved onto the offensive in 2008," writes BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus. "But in reality Ukraine's military is dispersed; it lacks readiness; and much of its equipment is in storage."
Read more at the BBC.
Readout of the Vice President’s Call with Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev
Vice President Biden called Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev this morning, following the Prime Minister’s discussion with Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk over the weekend. The Vice President urged Russia to pull back its forces, support the immediate deployment of international monitors to Ukraine, and begin a meaningful political dialogue with the Ukrainian government.