Ukraine’s MFA: Despite Putin’s Public Statement, Russian Troops Remain in Crimea

Kyiv, March 5, 2014. Following the public appearance of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his comments on the Crimea situation, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry rebutted his statements. Despite President Putin’s assurances that the alleged military trainings of the Russian Armed Forces on Ukrainian border were curtailed, the Russian military remain in place of their earlier reported location.

The press secretary of Ukraine’s MFA Yevhen Perebiynis also commented on the statement, that the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych allegedly requested Vladimir Putin to bring in Russian troops to Ukraine. According to the MFA, such a request has no legal power because the armed forces of a third country can enter and remain in Ukraine exclusively in accordance with Ukrainian legislation. Particularly, the law regulating the respective issue reads that foreign armed forces can be stationed in Ukraine in accordance with the international agreements.

Moreover, Perebiynis highlighted that president can decide on bringing in foreign troops on the basis of the motion by the Secretary of State Council of Security and Defense of Ukraine, while the president’s decision should be approved by the Verkhovna Rada. Therefore, even if Yanukovych still were Ukraine’s acting president, his request to bring in Russian troops would still be illegal; it fringes Ukraine’s laws and Constitution.

It was also mentioned that Russia’s representative at the UN Security Council meeting demonstrated a letter, allegedly written by Viktor Yanukovych, however not bearing his signature. Importantly, this fact was noted by a number of other participants of the meeting.

During the latest meeting of the Council, a number of participating states, including western countries as well as China and Kazakhstan expressed their support for Ukraine.