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Ukraine Appeals to NATO for Help After Russia Approves Force

Published: March 3, 2014 (Issue # 1799)



  • The NATO flag at its headquarters in Brussels.
    Photo: Nato.int

Ukraine appealed for assistance from NATO on Saturday, asking it to use all possible measures to ensure its territorial integrity and protect its people.

The call came hours after the Federation Council approved the deployment of military forces in Ukraine, in response to what Moscow claims is the threat being leveled against its servicemen and Russian citizens in the southern Crimea Peninsula.

Authorities in Ukraine have sounded the alarm over what they are calling an unwarranted act of aggression.

Related: Tensions in Ukraine Grow Amid Russian Military Drills

In addition to asking for NATO's protection, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Andrei Deshchitsa urged the trans-Atlantic military alliance to aid it in securing nuclear facilities based in Ukraine, local news agency UNN reported.

The North Atlantic Council, NATO's main governing body, was to hold an extraordinary meeting on Sunday to discuss events in Ukraine, the military bloc's secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said on Twitter.

Russia has adopted increasingly combative rhetoric on Ukraine ever since an opposition movement in the country last week toppled President Viktor Yanukovych after weeks of sometimes violent protests.

Moscow accuses the West of backing the Ukrainian uprising, which it says has been directed by violent and politically extremist radicals.

On Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin expressed the hope that the international community would apply pressure on Kiev to normalize the situation.

In addition to acting as home to Russia's strategically valuable Black Sea Fleet base, Crimea also has a substantial ethnic Russian community.

Politicians in Moscow have urged their government to act firmly on behalf of Russians in Crimea, many of who have apparently expressed a preference for the region to be annexed by their eastern neighbor.

Deshchitsa said a settlement for the situation in Crimea should be peaceful.

"We must not allow the use of force and provocations," he said.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in “Downton Abbey” if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russia’s best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russia’s most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkin’s, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontov’s short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library System’s website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Club’s weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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