KIEV, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday called on the United Nations to consider the situation in its crisis-hit southern autonomous republic of Crimea without any delay.
Some 250 lawmakers in the Ukrainian 450-seat assembly supported a resolution calling for the UN to examine the growing tensions in the Crimean peninsula in light of an alleged Russian role in the crisis.
"The situation in Crimea is deteriorating due to increased movements of the Russian Federation's armed forces and the Black Sea Fleet," the resolution said.
Under Chapter 51 of the UN Charter, Ukraine, as one of the founding members of the UN, has the right to apply to the international community for help to restore its sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability.
Ukraine faced the threat of splitting up after the Crimean parliament adopted a declaration of independence from Ukraine, which would be put to a referendum on Sunday.
Kiev described the referendum as "illegal," saying it violated the legal procedures established by the constitution.
Since the outbreak of the Crimea crisis in late February, Kiev had been accusing Moscow of exacerbating the situation by increasing troop movements in Crimea, which is home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.
The Crimean peninsula was transferred to Ukraine in 1954 as a gift to Kiev by then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine's merger with the Russian empire.
[Video]EU to sign association deal with Ukraine next week
Kerry to meet Russian FM on Ukraine
WASHINGTON, March 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that he will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in London on Friday, two days ahead of a referendum in Ukraine's autonomous republic of Crimea.
The United States will offer "certain choices" to Russia in hopes of finding a way forward that defuses the current situation in Ukraine and respects the country's integrity and sovereignty, Kerry told lawmakers at a House hearing. Full story