March 2 - Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk says Russian President Vladimir Putin's declaration that he had the right to invade Ukraine amounted to a 'declaration of war'. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, head of a pro-Western government that took power when Russian ally Viktor Yanukovich fled last week, said Sunday (March 2) that Russian President Vladimir Putin's proposal for military intervention in the Crimean region amounted to 'a declaration of war'. "This is the red alert. This is not the threat, this is actually the declaration of war to my country," said Yatseniuk. At a news conference with acting President Oleksandr Turchinov, who called for "real steps" by world leaders to help Ukraine, Yatseniuk said the country was on the brink of disaster. "We are on the brink of the disaster. There was no any reason for the Russian Federation to invade Ukraine. And we believe that our Western partners and the entire global community will support the territorial integrity and unity of Ukraine. And we'll do everything we can in order to stop the military conflict provoked by Russian Federation in Europe," Yatseniuk said. The Ukrainian government's requested urgent consultations in accordance with the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, signed by Britain, United States, Russia and Ukraine. The memorandum provided guarantees of Ukraine's sovereignty and integrity in exchange for a Ukrainian commitment, since fulfilled, to give up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons. Putin obtained permission from his parliament on Saturday (March 1) to use military force to protect Russian citizens in Ukraine, spurning Western pleas not intervene. In response, Ukraine mobilised for war and put its troops on highest alert.