WASHINGTON, March 14 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Poland and Lithuania next week to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, the White House said on Friday.
During his visit to Warsaw and Vilnius from Monday to Wednesday, Biden will meet with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk as well as the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, the White House said in a statement.
Biden will consult the leaders on steps to support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, it added.
Ukraine's Crimea will hold a referendum Sunday on whether to join Russia or remain part of Ukraine as an autonomous republic. Russia has said it will respect the decision, while the seven major Western countries say they will reject it.
Biden will also affirm U.S. defense commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty and its enduring support for all of the allies and partners in Europe, according to the statement.
Crimea seeks to join Russia, not independence: PM
SIMFEROPOL, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Crimea is seeking to join Russia rather than win independence in the format of Abkhazia, Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksenov said Friday.
"Personally I believe that the Crimea should enter as a subject to the Russian Federation," Aksenov said at a press briefing. Full story
UN chief says Ukraine "at crossroads", fears "dangerous downward spiral"
UNITED NATIONS, March 14 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday that "it is clear that we are at a crossroads" in the Ukrainian crisis and "if positions continue to harden and rhetoric continues to sharpen, there is a great risk of a dangerous downward spiral."
Crimea, a Ukrainian autonomous republic, is to hold a referendum Sunday on whether to stay in Ukraine or join Russia. The Russian parliament has paved the way for Crimea to become part of Russia, but no decision has been made on annexation. Full story
Kiev in talks with U.S., NATO over military assistance: Ukrainian PM
KIEV, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Kiev is in talks with the United States and NATO over a possible military technical assistance, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said Friday.
"As for military assistance, we hold bilateral and multilateral consultations on technical support," Yatsenyuk said during a media briefing at the International Boryspil Airport after his visit to Washington. Full story