KIEV, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine would try to peacefully resolve the crisis in the autonomous republic of Crimea through political dialogue, the country's acting Defense Minister Igor Tenyukh said here Wednesday.
"All issues must be resolved at the diplomatic level," Tenyukh told a cabinet meeting.
At the same time, Tenyukh pointed out that the Ukrainian armed forces are ready to repel a possible external aggression against their country on the eastern and southern borders.
Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Parliament speaker Alexandr Turchynov, who is also the country's acting president, told Western media that Kiev would not use its army to intervene militarily in Crimea.
Turchynov explained that Kiev does not want to escalate the crisis in the southern peninsula.
The comments by the Ukrainian officials came after the Crimean parliament voted Tuesday for independence of the autonomous republic on the eve of the Sunday referendum on joining Russia.
The crisis in the mostly Russian-speaking Crimea began in late February following the ouster of Kremlin-friendly Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
Since the outbreak of the Crimea turmoil, Kiev has been accusing Moscow of allegedly fomenting separatist sentiments and deteriorating the situation in Crimea by increasing military troops in the peninsula.
Ukraine needs more OSCE observers
VIENNA, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine requests Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to send more unarmed military observers to the country, OSCE said on Tuesday.
The request follows the sending of the first unarmed observers team, which is working in Ukraine but still unable to move beyond checkpoints at the administrative border of Crimea. Full story
EU proposes temporary tariff cuts to Ukraine
BRUSSELS, March 11 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission Tuesday adopted a proposal for temporarily removing customs duties on Ukrainian exports to the European Union (EU).
The annual value of this support measure will be nearly 500 million euros (692 million U.S. dollars) in tariff reductions, of which almost 400 million euros accrue to the agricultural sector. Full story