March 3, 2014
Acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Andrei Deshchytsa, has announced that Ukraine considers Russian actions to constitute aggression and that it intends to seek military assistance from the West if Russian troops begin using their weapons.
“I maintain the position that any conflict must be resolved peacefully through diplomatic means. That said, if Russia resorts to open aggression through an overt use of weapons, it will of course be necessary to seek assistance,” the Minister said, as reported by Kommersant-Ukraina.
At the same, he emphasized that Ukraine must count only on itself. “Nobody except us will defend our country. Nobody can do this better then us,” he said.
Minister Deshchytsa acknowledges the possibility of demilitarizing Black Sea region. “We need to seriously to assess the legal framework between Ukraine and Russia. This applies to the full spectrum of agreements. Such an analysis should be carried out in the context of a de-escalation of the situation and perhaps even a demilitarization of the Black Sea region,” he said, not ruling out, in this context, the possibility of terminating the so-called Kharkiv agreements.
On April 21, 2010, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine signed agreements to allow for the continued presence of Russian Black Sea Navy in Crimea for another 25 years as of 2017, with the possibility of another 5 year extension until 2047.
The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation has supported an appeal of President Vladimir Putin to bring Russian armed forces into Ukraine.
Translated by Vitalii Usenko, edited by Lesia Stangret