NATO condemns Russian military for killing Ukrainian officer in Crimea

NATO expressed concern about the reported death of a Ukrainian soldier in Crimea by Russian forces. Russia denied responsibility, calling it a "provocation."
By JC Finley  |  March 19, 2014 at 4:01 PM
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NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen condemned Russia's incursion into and annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, calling Russia's actions "illegal and illegitimate."

"Russia has disregarded all calls to step back into line with international law and continues down the dangerous path. Russia continues to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and remains in blatant breach of its international commitments. There can be no justification to continue on this course of action that can only deepen Russia's international isolation. Crimea's annexation is illegal and illegitimate and NATO Allies will not recognise it."

Rasmussen also expressed concern regarding reports that a Ukrainian military officer was killed by Russian military in Crimea, an incident Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called a "war crime."

Russian Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko responded to the allegations of Russian responsibility for the death of the Ukrainian soldier, attributing it to propaganda.

"We have informed them that we see this incident as a provocation. The Russian troops were not involved in it, there was no storming of the Ukrainian military base as claimed by the authorities in Kyiv. The incident is now being investigated, those guilty will not walk away from the responsibility."

Ukraine's Defense Ministry said Wednesday it is also investigating the reported abduction of Ukrainian Navy Commander Serhiy Haiduk by the Russian FSB during a takeover of Ukraine's naval headquarters in Sevastopol.

[NATO] [Interfax]

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