Russian senators vote to deploy troops to Crimea

Russian senators vote to deploy troops to Crimea
Sat Mar 1, 2014 21:48:31

The upper house of the Russian parliament has unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to deploy troops to ensure security in Ukraine’s semi-autonomous region of Crimea in a bid to settle the turmoil in the split country.

Following a help request by the Crimean government, Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said Moscow could send a limited contingent of troops to Crimea to ensure the security of the Black Sea Fleet and Russian citizens there.

Both chambers of the Russian parliament asked Putin on Saturday to take steps to maintain stability in Crimea.

"The Duma Council adopted an appeal to the president of Russia, in which parliamentarians are calling on the president to take measures to stabilize the situation in Crimea and use all available means to protect the people of Crimea from tyranny and violence," said Lower House Speaker Sergey Naryshkin.

Meanwhile, the State Duma warned that as far as the current situation in Ukraine is concerned it is impossible to hold legitimate and democratic elections in the country due to actions of “radical forces.”

The developments came after Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksenov asked Putin to help restore peace and calm to the region.

Aksenov has been appointed to the post amid tensions over the region's resistance against new pro-Western authorities in Kiev.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry also said in a statement that unknown gunmen from Kiev have attempted to occupy the Crimean Interior Ministry overnight.

“Thanks to the decisive action of self-defense squads, the attempt to seize the building of the Interior Ministry was derailed. This attempt confirms the intention of prominent political circles in Kiev to destabilize the situation on the peninsula,” the statement added.


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