Dangerous Crossroads. Washington-Moscow Confrontation over Ukraine
By Rick Rozoff
Global Research, March 03, 2014
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Summary of Press reports prepared and edited by Rick Rozoff, Stop NATO

1) Russian ambassador could be recalled in response to U.S. statements over Ukraine
2) Foreign Ministry: Russia does not want war with Ukraine
3) Lavrov: New Ukrainian power intends to attack human rights, freedoms
4) Russian Baltic Fleet holds exercises in framework of surprise inspection
5) NATO issues statement condemning Russia


March 3, 2014

Russian ambassador could be recalled in response to U.S. statements over Ukraine

MOSCOW: The Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee has passed a draft appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the recall of the Russian Ambassador to the United States.

The committee session was held behind closed doors. The letter has been sent on the house’s behalf to the Russian head of state.

The move comes after U.S. President Barack Obama made a disrespectful statement that Russia will be pay dearly in the event of military intervention in Ukraine, Federation Council members said at their extraordinary session last Saturday.


March 3, 2014

Foreign Ministry: Russia does not want war with Ukraine

MOSCOW: Russia does not want a war with Ukraine and is prepared to support all forces in that country that advocate stronger relations between Moscow and Kyiv, Russian State Secretary – Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said.

“Russia does not want a war with Ukraine,” he said on Vladimir Solovyov’s Voskresny Vecher program aired by Rossiya 1 channel.

“I am absolutely positive that no one in Russia wants a war,” the diplomat added.

“We are against the use of such terms in the discussion of our relations with Ukraine, which is close to us. We will render full support to the forces, which stand for strengthening bilateral relations, especially as European stability depends on these relations. The Western politicians who are harshly criticizing us now should understand that,” the diplomat said.


March 3, 2014

Lavrov: New Ukrainian power intends to attack human rights, freedoms

GENEVA: New Ukrainian power intends to enjoy the fruits of its victory to attack human rights and freedoms, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday.

“The Verkhovna Rada approved decisions, which restricted the rights of ethnic minorities, dismissed judges of the Constitutional Court and demanded criminal proceedings be instituted against them,” Lavrov said.

“Demands are made to impose restrictions on the Russian language, ban undesirable political parties and conduct lustration. Thus, ‘winners’ intend to attack human rights and freedoms,” the Russian minister said.

“These deeds aroused indignation in eastern and southern regions of Ukraine and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea where millions of Russians live,” he said. “Amidst permanent threats by ultra-nationalists, self-defense units have been created. They are to prevent the attempts to seize administrative buildings by force in the Crimea and deliver weapons and ammunition to the peninsula.”

“We have received information on new provocations, including against the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the territory of Ukraine,” Lavrov said.

Agreement not fulfilled

Ukraine’s opposition has fulfilled no provision of the agreement on crisis settlement, signed on February 21, Lavrov said on Monday.

“On February 21, almost after three months of riots and chaos, the Ukrainian president and the opposition concluded the deal, which was also signed by foreign ministers of Germany, Poland and France,” he said.

“The authorities had not introduced a state of emergency and had taken police units from streets,” Lavrov said. “The opposition, however, has fulfilled nothing. Illegal weapons have not been handed in, administrative buildings and streets in Kiev have not been fully freed, and radicals continue to control the capital.”

“Instead of promises to create a government of national unity, “the government of winners” has been formed,” Lavrov added.

Internal crises overcome by dialogue

“Any internal crises should be overcome by dialogue of all political forces, ethnic and confessional groups, in compliance with international obligations, first of all the obligations on international humanitarian law, the protection of human rights and ethnic minorities rights,” Lavrov said at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

“It is very important to dissociate oneself from extremists, who are trying to take control over the situation by illegal means – by escalating violence and committing terrorist acts,” the Russian minister said.

Human rights are a very serious problem “to make it a bargaining chip in geopolitical games and use it to impose one’s will on others, moreover to conduct operations on changing regimes”, he said.

“Experience proves that the use of force under the pretext of protecting peaceful civilians is counterproductive and increases the sufferings of the population by depriving them of the fundamental right – the right to life,” Lavrov said.

“The above-mentioned approaches towards settling internal conflicts are applicable to Syria, Ukraine and other any country,” he said.


March 3, 2014

Baltic Fleet holds exercises in framework of surprise inspection

KALIINIGRAD: More than 3,500 servicemen of the Russian Baltic Fleet are taking part in the tactical exercise of coast guard troops on a test-site in the Kaliningrad region on Russia’s Baltic coast in the framework of a surprise inspection of combat readiness of troops and ammunition of the Western and Central Military District.

More than 450 units of military hardware, including personnel armored carriers BMP-2, tanks T-72, self-propelled artillery installations and communication facilities, are taking part in the large-scale exercise, Chief of the public relations department of the press service of the Western Military District Captain 2nd rank Vladimir Matveyev told Itar-Tass on Monday.

The coast guard troops which had marched many kilometers from places where they are permanently stationed have practiced defense and offensive operations to improve their skills in handling conventional armaments and hardware, maneuvering on a battle field and in the construction of fortifications. During the tactic exercise the troops have complied with the assigned norms in shooting, tactical , engineering and special training under conditions which maximally resembled a battle field, Matveyev said.

The specifics of the exercise was that servicemen of motor-rifle regiments had practiced defense and offensive operations under conditions of radio and electronic blockade, enforced by a presumed adversary, artillery fire and air strikes, Matveyev added.

In the final leg of the exercise, the servicemen will practice combat shooting from all kinds of firearms and grenade launchers at targets which imitate caterpillar and cross-country vehicles and live manpower.

March 3, 2014

NATO condemns Russia’s military escalation in Crimea – statement

NATO condemns Russia’s military escalation in Crimea and expresses concern about the decision by the Federation Council of Russia’s Federal Assembly to use Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine, NATO said in a statement after a meeting of the North Atlantic Council and the NATO-Ukraine Commission in Brussels on Sunday.

“Military action against Ukraine by forces of the Russian Federation is a breach of international law. It contravenes the principles of the NATO-Russia Council and the Partnership for Peace. Russia must respect its obligations under the United Nations Charter and the spirit and principles of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, on which peace and stability in Europe rest. We call on Russia to de-escalate tensions,” the statement reads.

NATO also calls upon Russia to honor all its international commitments, including under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum and a bilateral agreement on the principles of the Black Sea Fleet’s stationing in Crimea, and to withdraw its forces to its bases, and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine.

“We urge both parties to immediately seek a peaceful resolution through dialogue, through the dispatch of international observers under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council or the OSCE,” the statement reads.

“We emphasise the importance of an inclusive political process in Ukraine based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities and the rule of law which fulfills the democratic aspirations of the entire Ukrainian people,” the statement reads.

NATO says Ukraine is a valued partner for NATO and a founding member of the Partnership for Peace. NATO Allies will continue to support Ukrainian sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting on Sunday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that NATO intends to engage with Russia in the NATO-Russia Council.

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