Ukraine’s new Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk has reacted angrily to unfolding events in the east of the country.
Addressing the cabinet in Kyiv he condemned what he said was Russian agitation in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
He described Russian activities in Ukraine as an international crime.
“As far as I understand, the Russian Federation has a new product for export. Besides exporting oil and gas, Russia has started exporting terrorism to Ukraine… the Russian government must immediately withdraw its reconnaissance and sabotage groups, condemn terrorists and demand the release of buildings and city administrations,’‘ Yatseniuk said.
Russia has denied any involvement in the unrest in Ukraine.
Russia’s Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov, on a visit to Vietnam, said: “We will ease the situation. We will make it so that the government in Kyiv views with respect the opinions and demands of Ukrainian citizens who live in the southeast and without delay will join negotiations to calm the situation and not inflame it by the use of security bodies, particularly the army, which is explicitly forbidden by Ukrainian law.”
Authorities in Ukraine and western allies claim tens of thousands of Russian troops are massed along the border with Ukraine.
NATO officials have said that Russia has up to 40,000 troops close to that border and on Wednesday confirmed it sees no significant change in the size or positioning of those Russian forces.