US steps up Crimea referendum attacks as Ukraine PM visits White House

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Series Details 12.03.14
Publication Date 12/03/2014
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Reports of, and external reaction to, the situation in Ukraine covering the 12 to 14 March 2014, with Russia-related forces still controlling the Crimea region and the West trying to force it to de-escalate tensions in the region [for the background to the situation and developments in the previous days see the ESO: Background Information links below].

The White House stepped up its criticism of a planned 16 March 2014 referendum in Crimea as it played host on the 12 March 2014 to the Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in a last ditch bid to prevent Russian annexation of the peninsula.

Mr. Yatsenyuk also addressed UN Security Council members during an emergency meeting. Russia's ambassador to the United Nations stated that Moscow did not want war with Ukraine.

Leaders of the G7 group of nations called on Russia to stop all efforts to 'annex Ukraine's Crimea region. They also stated that they would not recognise the results of a referendum in Crimea on whether to split from Ukraine and join Russia.

The Russian government invited some of Europe's far-right parties to observe the referendum in Crimea. The leader of France’s National Front party, Marine Le Pen, told the press at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the 12 March 2014 that her executive had not yet decided whether to go. The Austrian Freedom party, a National Front ally, had also got an invitation.

While speaking to the Bundestag on the 13 March 2014, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that it was 'shameful' to compare the independence of Kosovo with the referendum for independence in Crimea and called on Russia to stop its actions in Ukraine or face economic sanctions.

On the 13 March 2014, Ukraine's parliament voted to create a 60,000-strong National Guard to bolster the country's defences.

The European Parliament approved a resolution on the same day saying that Russia should immediately withdraw all its military forces from Ukrainian territory and condemning both the Russian move and the Crimean referendum, which they said to be illegal. The document also warned that Russia’s actions posed a threat to the security of the EU.

US State Secretary John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in London on the 14 March 2014 for talks on the Ukrainian crisis. No EU officials were invited. No progress was reported from the meeting.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) halted talks aimed at allowing Russia into the organisation of the most advanced economies.

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Related Links
BBC News, 12.03.14: G7 warns Russia on 'annexing' Crimea
EurActiv, 13.03.14: Ukraine diplomat tables ‘peace plan’ as Crimea tensions peak
EUObserver, 13.03.14: Russia invites EU far-right to observe Crimea vote
EUObserver, 13.03.14: Merkel: Comparing Crimea to Kosovo is 'shameful'
The Guardian, 13.03.14: Russia risks political and economic damage over Ukraine, says Merkel
Deutsche Welle, 13.03.14: German Chancellor Merkel addresses parliament on Ukraine
BBC News, 13.03.14: Ukraine creates National Guard ahead of Crimea vote
The Guardian, 12.03.14: US financial aid to Ukraine in limbo as Congress wrangles with legislation
Deutsche Welle, 12.03.14: Yatsenyuk visits Washington: Ukraine will 'never surrender'
The New York Times, 12.03.14: Ukraine Crisis Limits Merkel’s Rapport With Putin
ESO: Background information: NATO flights over Poland, Romania to monitor Ukraine / EU diplomats preparing next level of sanctions on Russia
ESO: Key Source: Euromaidan - Protests in Ukraine 2013 - 2015 - Key source
European Parliament: Press Release, 13.03.14: European Parliament calls on Russia to withdraw military forces from Ukraine
Deutsche Welle, 13.03.14: OECD suspends Russia accession talks while Moscow vows 'symmetrical' sanctions
The Guardian, 14.03.14: Ukraine crisis: John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov to meet in London for talks
BBC News, 14.03.14: Ukraine crisis: Russia tells UN it does not want war
EurActiv, 14.03.14: EU shunned from US-Russia meeting on Ukraine
BBC News, 13.03.14: Ukraine crisis: Russia begins new military exercises
BBC News, 13.03.14: Is Crimea's referendum legal?
University of Toronto: G8 Information Centre: Statement by G7 Leaders on Ukraine, 12.03.14
OECD: Press Release, 13.03.14: Statement by the OECD regarding the status of the accession process with Russia & co-operation with Ukraine
European Commission: RAPID: SPEECH/14/216: Crimea referendum: major threat to the stability of the borders in Europe
Euro|Topics, 14.03.14: Merkel gives Moscow an ultimatum
Euro|Topics, 13.03.14: G7 and EU warn Russia
BBC News, 14.03.14: No Ukraine accord in US-Russia talks
RIA Novosti, 14.03.14: Russia Has No Plans of Invading Southeast Ukraine - Lavrov
UK: GOV.UK: FCO: News Story, 14.03.14: UK, US and Russia in talks on Ukraine
UK: GOV.UK: FCO: Press Release, 14.03.14: Foreign Secretary says Russia must engage in dialogue over Ukraine
EUObserver, 21.03.14: French far-right politician endorses Crimea vote

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