BRUSSELS, March 3 (Xinhua) -- European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso announced continuing support for putting European perspective in Ukraine's future on Monday.
"The minimum we can do today for Ukrainians is to support their sovereignty and to continue offering them perspectives of Economic integration," said Barroso in a statement.
"European Union is to show them that there is European perspective in their future," he added.
Crimea is now the center of Ukraine's ongoing crisis after some 50 armed men carrying Russian navy flags last Friday took control of the two airports in the regional capital of Simferopol, one day after gunmen seized the local parliament and government buildings.
An extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council will be held on Monday to discuss the EU's response to these developments.
The Ukrainian political crisis, which originated from public anger over President Viktor Yanukovych's decision in November to put on hold an association agreement with the European Union in order to get Russian aid, took an abrupt turn in the past two weeks as a result of bloody clashes between protestors and police. Yanukovych was ousted by parliament and fled to Russia.
Yanukovych still Ukraine's "legitimate" head of state: Russia
MOSCOW, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Sunday ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was still the "legitimate" head of state despite the latter's "negligible" authority.
Medvedev said on his facebook webpage that if Yanukovych was guilty, he should be judged according the Ukrainian Constitution, adding that outrage and seizure of power could only lead to "new coup" and "new bloodshed." Full story
West should work with, not against, Russia in handling Ukraine crisis
BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- As the West reacted with alarm to Russia's latest approval of military action in Ukraine, tensions might further escalate.
Based on the fact that Russia and Ukraine have deep cultural, historical and economic connections, it is time for Western powers to abandon their Cold War thinking, stop trying to exclude Russia from the political crisis they failed to mediate, and respect Russia's unique role in mapping out the future of Ukraine. Full story
Putin justifies move in Ukraine amid NATO accusation, U.N. calls for "cooler heads"
UNITED NATIONS/MOSCOW, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Russia is trying to justify its possible military action in Ukraine as NATO accuses Moscow of "threatening Europe's security", while the United Nations calls for "cooler heads" and Ukraine warns of Russian "aggression."
In a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama, Russian President VladimirPutin said his country retained the right to protect its interests and Russian speakers living in Ukraine if violence spread in eastern Ukrainian regions and Crimea in the south. Full story
NATO condemns "military escalation" in Crimea, urging peaceful resolution
BRUSSELS, March 2 (Xinhua) -- The NATO on Sunday condemned Russia's "military escalation" in Crimea of southern Ukraine and expressed "grave concern" regarding the authorization by the Russian Parliament to use armed forces on the territory of Ukraine.
"Military action against Ukraine by forces of the Russian Federation is a breach of international law and contravenes the principles of the NATO-Russia Council and the Partnership for Peace," the NATO said in a statement. Full story
Merkel criticizes Putin for violating international law
BERLIN, March 2 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday criticizes Russian President Vladimir Putin for violating the international law with the Russian intervention in Crimea, a deputy spokesman of German government said.
Merkel said Putin "has violated the international law with the unacceptable Russian intervention in Crimea", calling on him to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine, deputy spokesman Georg Streiter said in a statement. Full story
Kerry condemns Russia's "incredible act of aggression" against Ukraine
WASHINGTON, March 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday denounced Russia's "incredible act of aggression" against Ukraine and threatened economic sanctions by America and its allies to isolate Russia.
The top American envoy called on Russia to consider other options to address its concerns about the treatment of ethnic Russian and minority populations in Ukraine, echoing a message broached by U.S. President Barack Obama in his 90-minute talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone a day ago. Full story