The United States warned Russia that it would make a “grave mistake” with military involvement in the crisis in Ukraine as the Kremlin dispatched 150,000 troops to test their readiness and seized government buildings in the peninsula of Crimea, located in the northern coast of the Black Sea.
The stern warning came from Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of the troops deployment.
Kerry spoke to a small group of reporters reporters at the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C.:
“For a country that has spoken out so frequently (…) against foreign intervention in Libya, in Syria, and elsewhere, it would be important for them to heed those warnings as they think about options in the sovereign nation of Ukraine.”
“I don’t think there should be any doubt whatsoever that any kind of military intervention that would violate the sovereign territorial integrity of Ukraine would be a huge – a grave mistake.”
“If there were any kind of decision like that, I do not think that’s a cheap decision. I think it’s a very expensive decision.”
Kerry also said the United States is considering a $1 billion package in aid to support Kiev, following the uprising that resulted in the toppling of President Viktor Yanukovych, who on Thursday, surfaced in Russia where he is asking for protection and support.
Yanukovych is staying in a Moscow residence at the invitation of the Russian government and insists he is still in power in Ukraine.
Meanwhile in Kiev, a newly formed parliament chose Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the country’s new prime minister, whose first order of business was to form a new government that can qualify for foreign aid from Europe and the United States.
As reported by The Inquisitr on Thursday, the Ukraine is warning Russia not to interfere in its affairs, after armed men seized government and parliament headquarters in the Crimea region and raised the Russian flag.
The 39-year-old new Premiere said the country would not accept Russian intervention in the area and that Crimea “has been and will be a part of Ukraine.”
Ukrainian Acting President Olexandr Turchinov also warned Russian military forces to stay out of the country and was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying:
“Any movement of military servicemen with weapons outside this territory will be viewed as military aggression.”
The United States Secretary of State used a Hollywood analogy to make his point that the West is not interested in a power grab in the region, but in allowing former Soviet satellites to attain their freedom:
“This is not `Rocky IV’. It is not a zero-sum game. We do not view it through the lens of East-West, Russia-US or anything else. We view it as an example of people within a sovereign nation who are expressing their desire to choose their future. And that’s a very powerful force.”
The United States and Russia have been at odds in other instances such as those related to Georgia and Syria, and the recent developments in the Ukraine are adding to the already tense situation between both countries.