Ukrainian officials, sent by prime minister to defuse crisis, barred from entering Crimea

Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema and acting Defense Minister Ihor Teniukh, dispatched by the prime minister to travel to Crimea to prevent the crisis with Russia "from turning into a military conflict," were barred from entering Crimea on Tuesday. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced the crisis had moved from "a political to a military stage."
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   March 19, 2014 at 4:25 PM
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Ukrainian officials directed "to urgently fly to Crimea" by the prime minister on Tuesday were barred from entering the Crimea region, prompting the government in Kiev to call an emergency National Security and Defense Council meeting.

Ukrainian Social Policy Minister Liudmyla Denisova told reporters Wednesday that First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema and acting Defense Minister Ihor Teniukh were prevented from entering Crimea "so an emergency meeting of the National Security and Defense Council will now be held, and they will be resolving these issues."

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had directed his deputy and the defense minister to travel to Crimea on Tuesday following Russia's annexation of Crimea and prevent the crisis "from turning into a military conflict."

Upon learning that "Russian military started shooting at Ukrainian servicemen," however, the prime minister announced, "Now it actually switches from a political to a military stage due to the Russian military."

Russia has denied responsibility for the Ukrainian officer's death, instead calling the incident "a provocation."

[Interfax Ukraine News Agency]

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