The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine have met on the sidelines of the nuclear summit in The Hague.
It is their first face to face talks since the ousting of Ukraine’s pro-Russia president and Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.
Before the meeting Ukrainian Foreign MInister Andriy Deshchytsia said his government was ready to defend its territory:We think that we could co-exist peacefully but we will never give up Crimea. So we will continue, we will strengthen our efforts in bilateral talks, we will strengthen our efforts together with the international community to return Crimea to Ukraine.”
Meanwhile the token resistance against Russian rule at the Crimean naval base of Feodosia has ended with Ukrainian marines being ordered to pull out by Kyiv.
The withdrawal amounts to an acknowledgment of defeat by Russian forces who had stormed one of Ukraine’s last remaining bases on the peninsula.
Being surrounded for the past few weeks has proved a strain for the Ukrainian troops.
“I can tell you that for the last month all of us and most of all our commander who is unfortunately staying behind in Crimea, we were all like coiled springs. Now I hope we can finally relax a bit,” said a relieved Ukrainian officer.
The said commander along with a deputy were reportedly kidnapped from the base earlier in the standoff.
Within hours of the order to pullout most Ukrainian troops had gathered their families and left.