Ukraine update | March 4

Riot police in Kiev in December, early in the conflict being called the ‘Euromaidan’, or ‘Ukraine Spring’. Photo: Ivan Bandura/flickr


Russia’s continued push for war affects more than just the Ukraine, writes STEPHANIE ATHANASSIOU.
World leaders have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin against military interference after the Russian parliament granted authorisation to deploy troops into the Ukraine.

US President Barack Obama told Putin during a 90-minute phone call on Saturday that Russia’s continued violation of international law will lead to greater political and economic isolation.

Both the US and Canada have withdrawn from the G-8 Summit to be held in the Winter Olympics city of Sochi in June, while France wants G-8 preparations halted altogether until the issue has been resolved. China, however, failed to condemn Russia’s actions and had “broadly coinciding points of view” on the military action, according to a statement released by the Russian ministry.

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in parliament that Russia should “back off (and) it should withdraw its forces from the Ukraine”. Also in Australia, Moscow’s actions prompted Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb to cancel a planned visit. Australia has not ruled out stopping trade with Russia altogether, and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she was considering further action. Russia’s Ambassador in Australia Vladimir Morozov told reporters in Canberra that the soldiers occupying Crimea are there for Russia’s “self defence”, and that a distribution of anymore troops is just an option.

Whilst the international community continues to explore solutions to manage the crisis, violence in Ukraine continues. Australians in Crimea are being advised to leave the country.

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