Foreign ministers from Nordic, Baltic and Visegrad countries have condemned the “Russian attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” They’ve called for an EU observer mission in Ukraine.
A statement by the group of ministers, who met for a summit in Estonia on Thursday and Friday, said that “an act of aggression has been committed against a European country by Russian military forces.”
Carl Bildt, Swedish Foreign Minister, attended the summit and explained that the Russian Federation has to do two things: “They have to take back the decision by the Federation Council, which was a decision to threaten an invasion of a neighbouring country. And they have to take their forces back to the barracks (bases) in Crimea.”
Anders Borg, Swedish Foreign Minister, whose country has strong ties to the Baltics, said Russia was “a bit more erratic and unpredictable” and called for more defence spending.
His statement came a day after Sweden moved two fighter jets to Gotland, a Baltic island almost demilitarized in recent years.
Meanwhile, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer has passed through Turkey’s Bosphorus straits en route to the Black Sea.
Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula extends into the north of the Black Sea and is home to Russia’s military base there in Sevastopol.
A US military statement said “the ship will conduct a port visit and routine, planned exercises with allies and partners in the region.”
The Pentagon is deploying F-16 jet fighters to the region, as well as 200 service personnel, for a training exercise in Poland, which has been expanded since the Ukraine crisis broke.