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Any movement of Black Sea Fleet in Crimea to be interpreted as aggression against Ukraine

February 27, 2014, 12:27 UTC+3
Turchynov gave a task to law enforcement agencies “to protect citizens in Crimea and punish the offenders” that occupied the house of Crimean parliament
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Russian Black sea fleet in Ukraine's Sevastopol (archive)

Russian Black sea fleet in Ukraine's Sevastopol (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Klimentyev

KIEV, February 27. /ITAR-TASS/ Any movement of Russia's Black Sea Fleet personnel in Crimea will be interpreted as military aggression against Ukraine, says interim president Oleksanr Turchynov.

Oleksanr Turchynov urged Russian servicemen in Crimea to remain strictly on territories stipulated in bilateral agreements. "Any movement in areas not included in those territories would be interpreted as military aggression. The Ukrainian state will be able to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Russia leases from Ukraine a naval base in Crimea’s port city of Sevastopol for an annual fee of $98 million and has its Black Sea Fleet deployed there. The bilateral contract stipulates Russia’s military presence in Crimea until May 2017.

Turchynov gave a task to law enforcement agencies “to protect citizens in Crimea and punish the offenders” that occupied the house of Crimean parliament.

“I have given a task to law enforcement agencies to protect citizens, punish the offenders and unblock the building,” Turchynov stated.

He addressed the citizens urging them to keep calm. “Any attempts of invading (buildings) would be considered as a crime against the Ukrainian state with all that it entails,” the interim president said.

 

Houses of Crimean parliament and council of ministers occupied

Earlier, local media reported that people in uniform without identifying signs occupied the houses of Crimean parliament and council of ministers. Police has cordoned off the neighborhood of the council of ministers’ house.

The Russian flag is seen on the parliament's house in Simferopol. From time to time slogans urging to "defend the freedom and independence of Crimea" can be heard in the crowd that gathered near the cordon.

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