Says military is required to protect ethnic Russians and military base at Sevastopol
President Vladimir Putin has asked the Russian Parliament for permission to use troops in Ukraine, according to the Kremlin.
Ukraine’s coup government denounces Russian œprovocation.
Putin said using the military is required to protect ethnic Russians and the country’s military base at Sevastopol. Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is stationed at the Crimean port.
Russia has reportedly deployed a large number of troops, helicopters and tanks over the last few days. Putin’s government insists the movement of military troops and hardware are within the framework of a 1997 agreement with Ukraine about the use of naval bases.
On Friday President Obama warned Russia about the use of its military in Ukraine. œWe are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine, Obama said.
œThe United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.
The Crimean Prime Minister, Sergei Aksyonov, confirmed Saturday troops are operating on the peninsula. He made an appeal to Putin for more assistance. The Kremlin responded by stating it would not ignore Aksyonov’s appeal. He also said the government of Crimea is cooperating with the Russian military and has given permission to place soldiers in strategic locations.
œWe have established cooperation with the Black Sea Fleet to protect vitally important sites, Aksyonov said during a Cabinet meeting, Ria Novosti reports today.
The full text of Putin’s request to the Kremlin follows:
œIn connection with the extraordinary situation that has arisen in the Ukraine, the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our fellow countrymen and the personnel of the military contingent of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation deployed on the territory of the Ukraine (the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea) in accordance with an international agreement, on the basis of Point G Part 1 of Article 101 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation [governing the use of Russian armed forces outside Russian territory], I am submitting to the Council of the Federation [upper house] of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation a request to use the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of the Ukraine until the normalisation of the socio-political situation in that country.