KIEV- Leaders of the G7 industrial powers on Sunday condemned Russia’s “clear violation” of Ukraine’s sovereignty, as the UN rushed its deputy chief over to assess a crisis assuming Cold War proportions.
Kiev warned it was on the brink of disaster and called up military reservists as pro-Moscow gunmen, believed to be acting under Kremlin orders, tightened their grip on Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.
Russia’s parliament voted Saturday to allow troops to be sent into the ex-Soviet state — a decision condemned by the United States as a “violation of Ukrainian sovereignty”.
Symbolically billing themselves as the “G7”, the world leaders said in a statement that Russia’s actions were incompatible with the Group of Eight nations, which Moscow joined in 1997, and said they would not take part in preparatory talks for June’s G8 summit in Sochi, Russia.
The statement, signed by the leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and the presidents of the European Council and European Commission, was released by the White House.
The leaders condemned “the Russian Federation’s clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”.
The G7 finance ministers promised “strong financial backing” for Ukraine.
Meanwhile UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ordered his deputy Jan Eliasson to fly Sunday to Ukraine, after two emergency sessions of the UN Security Council that saw Western countries trade blame with Russia for the unfolding crisis.
The deputy secretary general will then brief Ban “on the next steps the United Nations could take to support the re-escalation of the situation”, a UN spokesman said.