The government of Ukraine balked at Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement Tuesday that "Crimea has always been an inalienable part of Russia." Earlier in the day, Putin signed a treaty annexing Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.
Speaking at a joint press conference, acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk denounced Russia's claim of Crimea. Turchynov said that Putin is "mimicking the fascists of the last century," while Yatsenyuk described Russia's annexation of Crimea as "a robbery on an international scale."
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevhen Perebyinis said Tuesday, "We do not recognize and will never recognize either Crimea's so-called independence or the so-called agreement on its accession to the Russian Federation."
Putin's assertion that Crimea was being incorporated into Russia rattled Ukraine's Foreign Ministry. "What shocked the whole world was the real revival of Russian imperialism," Perebyinis said, "for which nothing is sacred: neither international recognition of the borders of sovereign countries, nor rights or freedoms of the citizens, nor international obligations."
Ukraine, Perebyinis urged, needs international support. "We're appealing to all responsible states and international organizations, insisting that they take effective measures against [Russia] aggression."
[CNN] [Interfax Ukraine News Agency]