Sunday, September 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Putin: Russia has right to use force in Ukraine

John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, shakes hands today with a Ukrainian protester at the barricades in Kiev. AP photo

By
From page A2 | March 04, 2014 |

MOSCOW (AP) — Accusing the West of encouraging an “unconstitutional coup” in Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Moscow reserves the right to use its military to protect Russians there but voiced hope it won’t need to do so. The Russian leader’s first comments on Ukraine since its fugitive president fled to Russia came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kiev to meet with Ukraine’s new government.

Putin declared that Western actions were driving Ukraine into anarchy and warned that any sanctions the West places on Russia for its actions there will backfire. Both the U.S. and the 28-nation European Union have raised the possibility of sanctions against Russia.

The U.S. announced a $1 billion aid package Tuesday in energy subsidies to Ukraine, which is scrambling to get international loans to fend off looming bankruptcy. Its finance minister, who has said Ukraine needs $35 billion to get through this year and next, was meeting Tuesday with officials from the International Monetary Fund.

Tensions remained high Tuesday in Crimea, with troops loyal to Moscow firing warning shots to ward off protesting Ukrainian soldiers. Russia took over the strategic peninsula on Saturday, placing its troops around the peninsula’s ferry, military bases and border posts. Two Ukrainian warships remained anchored in the Crimean port of Sevastopol, blocked from leaving by Russian ships.

The new Ukrainian leadership in Kiev, which Putin does not recognize, has accused Moscow of a military invasion in Crimea.

Yet world markets seemed to recover from their fright over the situation in Ukraine, clawing back a large chunk of Monday’s stock losses, while oil, gold, wheat and the Japanese yen gave back some of their gains.

“Confidence in equity markets has been restored as the standoff between Ukraine and Russia is no longer on red alert,” David Madden, market analyst at IG, said Tuesday.

Speaking from his residence outside Moscow, Putin said he still considers Viktor Yanukovych to be Ukraine’s president and hopes that Russia won’t need to use force in predominantly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.

“We aren’t going to fight the Ukrainian people,” Putin said, adding that the massive military maneuvers Russia has been doing near Ukraine’s border had been planned and were unrelated to the situation in Ukraine.

Earlier in the day, Putin had ordered tens of thousands of Russian troops participating in those exercises to return to their bases — some 150,000 troops, hundreds of tanks and dozens of aircraft in all.

Putin also insisted that the Russian military deployment in Crimea has remained within the limits set by a bilateral agreement on a Russian military base there. He said Russia had no intention of annexing Crimea, but insisted its residents have the right to determine the region’s status in a referendum set for later this month.

Putin accused the West of using Yanukovych’s decision in November to ditch a pact with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia to encourage the months of protests that drove him from power and put Ukraine’s future in turmoil.

“We have told them a thousand times ‘Why are you splitting the country?’” he said.

Yet he acknowledged that Yanukovych has no political future and said Russia gave him shelter only to save his life. Ukraine’s new government wants to put the fugitive leader on trial for the deaths of over 80 people during protests last month in Kiev.

Ukraine’s dire finances were a key issue in the protests that drove Yanukovych from power. On Tuesday, Russia’s state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom said it will cancel a price discount on gas it sells to Ukraine. Russia had offered the discount in December as part of Russian help for Ukraine. Gazprom also said Ukraine owes it $1.5 billion.

Crimea still remained a potential flashpoint. Pro-Russian troops who had taken control of the Belbek air base in Crimea fired warning shots into the air Tuesday as around 300 Ukrainian soldiers, who previously manned the airfield, demanded their jobs back.

About a dozen soldiers at the base warned the Ukrainians, who were marching unarmed, not to approach. They fired several warning shots into the air and said they would shoot the Ukrainians if they continued to march toward them.

The new Ukrainian government has said the troops that have overtaken Belbek and other Ukrainian military bases across Crimea were Russian, but Putin denied it, saying they were self-defense forces answering to Crimea’s pro-Russian regional government.

Putin said 22,000 Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea have “dispersed.” He didn’t explain if that meant they had just left their posts or if they had switched allegiances from Kiev to the local pro-Russian government. Those officials claimed Tuesday that 5,500 Ukrainian soldiers had pledged allegiance to them and said they were seeking to move up a vote planned for March 30 on the region’s status.

At the United Nations in New York, Russia’s ambassador to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin, said Russia was entitled to deploy up to 25,000 troops in Crimea under the agreement.

Russia is demanding the implementation of a Western-sponsored peace deal that Yanukovych signed with the opposition last month that set a new Ukrainian presidential election no later than December. Yanukovych fled the capital hours after the signing and ended up in Russia, and the Ukrainian parliament then set the vote for May 25.

In Brussels, meanwhile, the ambassadors of NATO’s 28 member nations held another emergency meeting on Ukraine at the request of Poland, which borders both Russia and Ukraine. The alliance said it and Russia agreed to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine at a special meeting Wednesday.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine violates the U.N. charter and threatens peace and security in Europe.

President Barack Obama has said Russia is “on the wrong side of history” in Ukraine and its actions violate international law. Obama says the U.S. is considering economic and diplomatic options that will isolate Russia.

In return, Russia’s agricultural oversight agency on Tuesday reversed its earlier decision to lift the ban on imports of U.S. pork. It said the existing U.S. system of checks don’t guarantee its safety.

The European Union’s foreign ministers on Monday threatened Moscow with halting talks on visa liberalization and negotiations on further economic cooperation unless Russian troops in Crimea pull back over the next three days. The bloc’s 28 heads of state and government will hold an emergency meeting Thursday to decide whether to impose sanctions against Russia.

Putin’s economic advisor, Sergei Glazyev, says Russia can develop financial ties with other nations to offset any potential Western sanctions.

————

By Tim Sullivan and Vladimir Isachenkov. Sullivan reported from Crimea. Ivan Sekretarev in Sevastopol, Juergen Baetz in Brussels and Raul Gallego in Crimea contributed to this report.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Elementary school counselors: necessary, but poorly funded

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Bet Haverim hosts High Holy Day services

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

 
Teams assess damage as wildfire burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Driver arrested for DUI after Saturday morning crash

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Help raise funds for juvenile diabetes cure

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Jewelry, art for sale at Senior Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Davis Community Meals needs cooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Send kids to camp!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Da Vinci awarded $38,000 for restorative justice program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Hawk Hill trip planned Sept. 30

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Outdoor yoga marathon celebrates community

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Wise words

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Awareness is key to this fight

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Where is this going?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A6

We’re living in the Golden State of emergency

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A6

 
Options for protection come with flu season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Are we there yet? Not enough hours in the day to goof off

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

 
Paso Fino — it’s not worth it

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Archer will get my vote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
It’s time for Davis Scouts to stand up for what is right

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Mike Keefe cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
Building something at schools’ HQ

By Our View | From Page: A10

Don’t sell city greenbelt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Paso Fino project is flawed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Maybe David can beat Goliath again

By Lynne Nittler | From Page: A11 | Gallery

.

Sports

DHS gets on its Morse to beat Edison

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV Blue Devils drop low-scoring affair

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B2

 
Wire briefs: Giants rally falls short in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Four local swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Republic FC’s fairy tale season continues

By Evan Ream | From Page: B3 | Gallery

‘We’re a way better team’ than record, says UCD’s Shaffer

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie men pound Pomona-Pitzer in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4

Davis 15-year-old making a splash in European F4 series

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Ladies Foursome’ adds shows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
.

Business

UCD grad’s startup earns kudos at TechCrunch event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Styles on target for November debut

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7

MBI hires VP of marketing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Rob White: What is an ‘innovation center’?

By Rob White | From Page: A9

Taylor Morrison unveils new Woodland community next weekend

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

Carol L. Walsh

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, September 21, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8