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Russia Opposes NATO Presence On Its Historic Territory

Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 18, 2014

Moscow Opposed to NATO Presence on Historic Russian Territory

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the country was open to further cooperation with NATO, but remained opposed to the organization’s presence in historic Russian territories.

“We are not opposed to cooperation with NATO, not at all, but we are opposed to a military alliance … hosted outside our fences next to our home or on our historic territories,” Putin said.

The president made the comments during an address to both houses of parliament, as well as heads of Russian regions and representatives of public organizations at a special assembly in the Kremlin.

Following the meeting, Putin signed a treaty with the leaders of Ukraine’s Crimea formalizing the reunification of the breakaway province with Russia.

Crimea, where Russia maintains a major naval base at the port of Sevastopol, held a referendum on Sunday that saw voters overwhelmingly support secession and incorporation into Russia.

The Russian leader added on Tuesday that NATO members “are great guys, but it’s better for them to come visit us in Sevastopol, than for us to visit them.”

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Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 18, 2014

Russia Could Take Command of Half of Ukrainian Fleet – Lawmaker

MOSCOW: Up to 20 warships and auxiliary vessels of the Ukrainian navy could become part of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet following the reunification of Crimea with Russia, a senior Russian lawmaker said Tuesday.

According to Adm. (Ret.) Vladimir Komoyedov, chair of the State Duma Committee on Defense, the Ukrainian navy comprises some 40 ships, 20 of which are currently docked at naval bases in Crimea at Sevastopol and Donuzlav Bay.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of Crimea signed a treaty Tuesday reunifying Crimea and the city of Sevastopol with Russia. The Russian parliament is expected to ratify the treaty imminently.

“We can now assume that the ships that remain in Crimea will initially become part of the Crimean self-defense forces and will later join Russia’s Black Sea Fleet,” Komoyedov told RIA Novosti.

The Ukrainian ships that could be taken over by Russia include two corvettes, a command ship, several missile boats, minesweepers and the only Ukrainian submarine – the Foxtrot-class Zaporizhia diesel-electric boat, the admiral said.

The Russian navy will also gain a developed naval infrastructure on the Crimean peninsula, including the Belbek naval airbase and a network of coastal fortifications, Komoyedov said.

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Russian Information Agency Novosti
March 18, 2014

Putin Blames Ukrainian Nationalists for Crimea Secession

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Ukrainian nationalists bore full responsibility for the civil crisis in the country which resulted in the reunification of Crimea with Russia.

“We have always respected the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state, unlike those who have sacrificed Ukrainian unity for their political ambitions,” the Russian leader said, commenting on Crimea’s request to become a part of Russia. “They openly flaunted their commitment to a great Ukraine, but it’s they who are actually responsible for their country’s breakup.”

On Tuesday, Putin and the leaders of Crimea signed a treaty making the autonomous Ukrainian republic a part of Russia.

Putin said that the political crisis in Ukraine was carried out by a “pre-trained and well-equipped army of militants,” whose task was to undermine Ukraine’s ties with Russia and other former Soviet states.

He added that when Russia recognized Crimea as a part of independent Ukraine in 1991, it expected that Russian speakers would live in a “friendly, democratic and civilized” country.

However, he said, the Ukrainian government attempted to forcefully assimilate the Russian-speaking minority and deprive them of their language and history.

Last month, Crimean authorities refused to recognize the legitimacy of the newly established government in Kiev and called a referendum on reunification with Russia instead.

The move followed a number of legal initiatives arousing concern that a surge of nationalism in the former Soviet nation could unfairly marginalize the substantial ethnic Russian community.

Putin said that Russia will always protect the interests of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking minority “by political, diplomatic and legal means.”

“We want peace and conciliation in Ukraine and, together with other countries, are ready to provide all types of support. But it’s up to Ukrainians to clean up the mess in their own home,” he said.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. rosemerry
    March 18, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Putin remains sane and clearheaded while the “international community” ie we good guys are completely off the planet with rage at being unable to alter the situation which is none of our business.

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