UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) - The United States on Friday called for an urgent, international mediation mission to the Crimea to quell tensions and urged Russia to pull back military forces from the region.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, made the remarks following an emergency meeting and consultations at the Security Council requested by Lithuania.
"We are gravely concerned by reports of Russian military deployments into the Crimea," Ms Power told reporters.
"The United States calls on Russia to pull back the military forces that are being built up in the region, to stand down and to allow the Ukranian people the opportunity to pursue their own government, create their own destiny and to do so freely without intimidation or fear." The ambassador said the United States wanted an urgent international mission to visit the region to reduce tensions.
"The United States calls for an urgent, international mediation mission to the Crimea to begin to de-escalate the situation and facilitate productive and peaceful dialogue among all Ukranian parties," Ms Power said.