Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Diplomatic solution sought for Ukraine

The United States, the European Union and Russia are working hard to find a diplomatic solution and ease tensions in Ukraine.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague will meet Ukraine's interim Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia on Wednesday in Paris. They are expected to discuss aid to Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is stepping up his diplomatic efforts. He will meet the leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Russia is maintaining close ties with these nations.

The situation in Ukraine remains tense. The Russian military has effectively taken control of the southern Ukrainian region of Crimea, where ethnic Russians are in the majority.

Putin said on Tuesday that he is ready to use force in Ukraine, but added that no military action is necessary at this point.

A standoff continues between Russia's military forces and Ukrainian troops in Crimea. Russian troops have been firing warning shots and pressing Ukrainian forces to surrender.

On Tuesday, pro-Russian Prime Minister of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov showed his intention to cooperate with President Putin.

He said Putin has responded to his request seeking stability and safety in Crimea. He also indicated that the republic will build its own navy.