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WASHINGTON, March 13, /ITAR-TASS/. The United States will impose sanctions against Russia unless Moscow stops its actions regarding Ukraine, US President Barack Obama said while receiving Arseny Yatsenyuk, a Ukrainian parliament-appointed premier, in the White House.
“If… the Russian government… continues on the path that it is on then not only us, but the international community - the European Union and others - will be forced to apply a cost to Russia’s violations,” Obama said Wednesday, adding that the US “will stand with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.”
Yatsenyuk, in turn, told Obama Wednesday: “We fight for our sovereignty. And we will never surrender.”
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich left Ukraine in February after a coup in his country. He told reporters in southern Russia on Tuesday that he remained the legitimate Ukrainian leader despite “an anti-constitutional seizure of power by armed radicals.”
A number of media earlier claimed Russian armed forces blocked some military facilities in Crimea. But top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have denied any unlawful activities by Russian armed forces in Crimea - a Ukrainian autonomy that will hold a referendum on whether to secede and join Russia on March 16.
Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov said Tuesday that Crimea’s self-defense units “contain no Russian servicemen.” “These are Crimeans, have no doubts,” the Kryminform news agency quoted him as saying.