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Putin’s letter on use of Russian army in Ukraine goes to upper house

President also appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin to be his official representative in the Federation Council

MOSCOW, March 01, 18:11 /ITAR-TASS/. President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, March 1, sent to the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, a letter on the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine pending the resolution of the current political crisis in that country.

“In connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, the personnel of the military contingent of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation deployed in the territory of Ukraine (Autonomous Republic of Crimea) in accordance with an international treaty, and pursuant to Article 102-1(d) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, I hereby submit to the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation a letter on the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine pending normalisation of the public and political situation in that country,” the presidential press service said.

Putin also appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin to be his official representative in the Federation Council when it considers his letter.

Earlier in the day, the Federation Council asked Putin to take “exhaustive measures” to protect Russians in Ukraine.

“We have urgently summoned the house Council and thought it necessary to make a statement assessing the current situation in Ukraine,” Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said.

She said a group of Russian senators, who had visited Crimea, had informed their colleagues about the situation in the Ukrainian autonomy and specifically in Sevastopol, the home base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

“Today there is a real threat to the life and security of Russian citizens living in Ukraine. There is a threat to our military in Sevastopol and the Black Sea Fleet, and I think that Russia should not be a bystander,” she said.

The main purpose of the Federation Council’s appeal to the president is to urge him “to take exhaustive measures, all possible measures, to ensure the security of our citizens living in Ukraine, help our brotherly Ukrainian people achieve stabilisation and channel the current crisis into a civilised legal track so that the agreements that were signed by the opposition leaders and the head of state were implemented strictly,” Matviyenko said.

She noted that members of the Federation Council “asked the president to take exhaustive measures to prevent further escalation and put the resolution of the political crisis onto a legal track so that those who have grabbed power did not hurry so much and did not trample upon the rights of people and different regions of Ukraine.”

“The agreement [of February 21] clearly determined the sequence of steps. A constitutional reform first - it was supposed to be carried out with broad participation of public and political forces and regions in order to work out a consensus-based document that would be supported by all people in Ukraine. According to international practices, such serious documents should be adopted in a national referendum,” Matviyenko said.

Having expressed regret that this had not happened, she noted that “the speed with which presidential elections have been announced [in Ukraine] puts its legitimacy in question.”

“The agreement calls for forming a government of national accord, which means that it should include representatives of all political forces. In reality we see that the government, which was approved to the stomping of the Maidan, did not include all political forces and was formed from opposition parties only,” Matviyenko observed.

She also said that “the heads of regions were not summoned for consultation.” So “we can understand why there are protests in regions, except for Western regions of Ukraine,” she added.

Matviyenko called for finding “a calm, civilised and legal solution to the crisis” and stressed that “there is no need to demonstrate high political and diplomatic culture in this case because we can see that this is neither appreciated nor understood, and most importantly the security of people will not be ensured.