Ukraine won't intervene in Crimea, president says
Published on Mar 12, 2014 9:46 AM
KIEV (AFP) - Ukraine's acting president said on Tuesday the country would not use its army to stop Crimea from seceding, the latest sign that a Russian annexation of the strategic peninsula may be imminent.
Oleksandr Turchynov's comments came after the Crimean parliament voted for independence ahead of a Sunday referendum on joining Russia, while Washington and Moscow locked horns in one of their fiercest clashes since the Cold War.
The interim leader said intervening on the southeastern Black Sea peninsula, where Kremlin-backed forces have seized de facto control, would leave Ukraine exposed on its eastern border, close to Russia.
"We cannot launch a military operation in Crimea, as we would expose the eastern border and Ukraine would not be protected," Turchynov said.
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