Government officials in Ukraine’s new government in Kiev called up military reserves on Sunday to strengthen the country one day after Russia seized its southern autonomous region of Crimea while Russia’s parliament authorized Russian troops to be deployed inside Ukraine to protect ethnic Russians.
New Ukraine interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told reporters on Sunday that “we are on the brink of disaster” as the Ukrainian security council placed its military on high alert.
“This is not a threat: this is actually the declaration of war to my country,” Yatsenyuk said.
On Sunday Russian troops showed no sign of retreating in Crimea.
Russian troops blocked access to small Ukrainian bases in Crimea and demanded Ukrainian troops to disarm.
Secretary of State John Kerry said on NBC’s Meet The Press said that Russia’s invasion into Crimea was an act of aggression, comparing it to “19th-century behavior in the 21st century.”
Kerry was asked to explain the “costs” that President Obama referred to on Friday when speaking about the risks Russia faces if they invade Crimea.
Kerry cited the immediate economic impact that Russia could face in the future from different G8 foreign ministers.
“Russia has major investment in trade needs and desires. I think there’s a unified view by all of the foreign ministers I talked with yesterday, all of the G8 and more, that they’re simply going to isolate Russia” Kerry said.
“There could even be ultimately asset freezes, visa bans. There could be certainly a disruption of any of the normal trade routine, and there could be business drawback on investment in the country. The ruble is already going down and feeling the impact of this” Kerry added.
On Sunday seven world powers from the G8 condemned Russia’s hostile takeover of Crimea and said they are suspending preparations for the upcoming G8 Sochi meeting.
Since 1954 Crimea has been part of Ukraine. The transfer of Crimea from Russia to Ukraine was done in accordance with Soviet Union laws.
The transfer was approved by the Russian and Ukrainian republics and ratified by the Soviet legislature.
Civil unrest began in Ukraine last November when Ukraine President Yanukovich abandoned a free trade pact with the European Union and forged closer ties with Russia.
As Ukraine’s economy began to teeter towards bankruptcy and Ukrainian freedoms were restricted, pro-western Ukrainians ousted President Yanukovich whose soldiers killed between 70-100 anti-Russian protesters.
Secretary of State Kerry explained that Ukrainians are fighting for basic freedoms by ousting President Yanukovich and forming a new government in Ukraine.
“The people of Ukraine are fighting for democracy, they’re fighting for freedom, they’re fighting to have their voices heard and not be governed by a kleptocracy, by a tyrant, by someone who puts their political opposition in jail, somebody who robs the country of its livelihood and future” Kerry said.