MOSCOW, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Russia said Saturday it would react to appeals from Ukrainian civilians for protection against radicals, urging the West to respect the interests of people in eastern and southeastern parts of that country.
"Russia is receiving numerous requests from peaceful citizens who are asking for protection. These requests will be given consideration," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
It said militants from the Right Sector, a Ukrainian ultra- nationalist movement, continued committing outrages in the crisis- torn country.
"Right Sector leaders have declared the opening of an 'eastern front,' while Russian military uniforms are urgently being sewn at one of the clothing factories," the statement said.
Russia has issued an international arrest warrant for Dmitry Yarosh, the leader of the Right Sector.
Moscow also urged the West to take account of the interests of the people in Ukraine's eastern and southern regions when handling the crisis.
"We expect that the UN member states that have until now shown a biased and confrontational approach to the Ukraine issue ... will have the sober-mindedness to embark on a path of constructive cooperation in the interests of long-term settlement of the situation," the ministry said.
The statement came hours after Russia vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution on Ukraine.
The draft resolution drawn up by the United States and backed by Western countries claims that the referendum on the autonomous region "cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of Crimea."
Noting that initiating the draft was "groundless," Moscow said "the only possible explanation of the American move is an irrepressible desire to maximally politicize what is quite a difficult situation as it is, and to keep fanning an international hysteria about Ukraine in defending the United States' own geopolitical interests."
Crimea, a Ukrainian autonomous republic, was set to hold a referendum Sunday over its future status. A meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in London on Friday over the Ukrainian situation yielded no substantial results.