Russia has completed its ‘conquest’ of Crimea, as the Ukraine crisis continues. There are reports that Moscow is amassing military forces on Russia’s borders with Ukraine.
U.S. President Barack Obama has been urging his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin not to take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. The two discussed the Ukrainian crisis in a phone conversation.
“I think it is well known and well acknowledged you’ve seen a range of troops massing along that border under the guise of military exercises, but these are not what Russia would normally be doing,” said Obama “And, you know, it may simply be an effort to intimidate Ukraine or it may be that they’ve got additional plans. And, in either case, what we need right now to resolve and de-escalate the situation would be to Russia, for Russia to move back those troops and to begin negotiations directly with the Ukrainian government.”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all sides to de-escalate the situation, which he said takes away attention from important U.N. missions.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin denied accusations that Moscow had a role in escalating the crisis. He told reporters in New York that it is up to the Ukrainians to restore order in their country.