2014-03-03 10:07:51

G7 condemns Russia's actions in Ukraine

(Vatican Radio) The Group of Seven major industrialized nations has condemned Russia's invasion into Ukraine and cancelled, for now, preparations for the G8 summit which had been scheduled to take place in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi in June. As regional correspondent Stefan Bos reports, it comes amid mounting international concerns after thousands of Russian forces effectively seized Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

Listen: RealAudioMP3

At least 6,000 Russian troops effectively took control over Crimea, where many forces surrounded several Ukrainian army bases. Outside at least one base, people prayed for peace.
"In this difficult task the Ukrainian Orthodox Church views it as her task to prevent more bloodshed between soldiers," an archbishop said.

Yet, there was no sign that tensions were easing. Ukraine's interim government even launched a treason case against the head of the navy, who surrendered his headquarters on Sunday in the Crimean port of Sevastopol on only his second day on the job.
Denis Berezovsky was shown on Russian television swearing allegiance to the pro-Russian regional leaders of Crimea.

While as many as 1 million Ukrainian men were called up to serve in Ukraine's army, questions remained whether enough guns and uniforms could be found.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsenyi Yatseniuk appealed for Western support. ""This is not a threat: this is actually the declaration of war to my country," he told reporters.

Yet the international community was weighing its options. In a statement the White House said the "leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States and the President of the European Council and President of the European Commission, have joined together today to condemn what it called "the Russian Federation's clear violation
of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.".
British Foreign Minister William Hague was on his way to Ukraine, while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was expected for talks Tuesday.
And, the NATO military alliance gathered in an emergency session, explained NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
"We call upon Russia to honour all its international commitments, to withdraw its forces to its bases, and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine," he said.

Officials are concerned that besides Crimea, which belonged to Russia till 1954, calls for separation will increase in other pro-Russian regions of Ukraine in the East.
Pro-and-anti Russian rallies have been held in the Eastern city of Donetsk and even in Lithuania, while in Kyiv thousands urged President Vladimir Putin to end tears and war.

All the contents on this site are copyrighted ©.