Pro-Russian protests in Donetsk and Kharkiv.have handed Ukraine’s interim government a fresh headache.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Interim Prime Minister, warned of serious consequences for those involved in behaviour likely to destabilise Ukrainian autonomy.
He said: “The Ukrainian state will find all those ringleaders of separatism and division who now, under the cover of Russian troops, are trying to destroy Ukrainian independence. We will find all of them – if it takes one year, two years and bring them to justice and try them in Ukrainian and international courts. The ground will burn beneath their feet.”
Moscow is standing firm as the Kremlin announced there is no reason to alter its foreign policy decisions in light of criticism from G8 members
President Vladimir Putin, in a conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has expressed concern “about the escalation of tension in Ukraine’s eastern and south-eastern regions by radical groups with the connivance of the Kyiv authorities”.
Merkel has called for more international observers to be sent to hot-spots in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council’s resolution declaring the Crimea referendum invalid. China abstained as 13 council members supported the resolution.