The United States, stunned by the swift move by Russia into Crimea, the autonomous province of Ukraine and the endorsement by the Russian parliament of the brazen action, has called upon Moscow to withdraw military forces from the area and refrain from any interference anywhere else inside Ukraine.
President Barack Obama spoke on the phone with Vladimir Putin the President of Russia expressing his concern over the clear violation by Russia of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
A statement from the White House was clear that Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity would impact negatively in the standing of Russia amongst the international community.
However, the Russian president remained defiant. He told President Obama that he could not only send troops from Russia into Crimea, but to all of the eastern Ukraine’s Russian speaking areas due to real threats existing to citizens of Russia in the Ukrainian territory.
On Saturday, top officials in the U.S. met at the White House to review the military moves made by the Russians and determine what response to make.
John Kerry the Secretary of State released a statement that reiterated that of Obama. Kerry said he spoke to Oleksandr Turchynov the acting president of Ukraine and told him that he was supported strongly by the U.S. and commended the new Ukrainian government for its utmost restraint with regard to the danger of integrity to its state.
Kerry said that unless concrete, immediate steps are taken by Moscow to lower tensions, the relations between the U.S. and Russia would be profoundly affected, as well as the international standing of Moscow.
Russia insists its action was to maintain peace between the Ukrainians that are pro-Moscow and those wanting more ties with Europe.
Senator John McCain of Arizona saw other reasons. He said he was deeply concerned over the military intervention by Russia in the Crimea and worries it could expand to more of eastern Ukraine.
The United Nations met on Saturday in an emergency session that the United Kingdom requested. In the meeting on Saturday afternoon, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.N. claimed that more than 15,000 troops from Russia were in the Crimea.