Duma says possible use of Russian army in Ukraine has humanitarian purpose
The decision adopted on Saturday, March 1, by the Federation Council, upper house of the Russian parliament, which allows the president to send troops to Crimea, an autonomy within neighbouring Ukraine, aims to protect life and security, Irina Yarovaya, chair of the Security and Anti-Corruption Committee in the State Duma (lower house of parliament), said, ITAR-TASS reported.
"Terrorism is the most dangerous crime around the world. But it is fascism and terrorism that have proclaimed their power in Ukraine and pose a real threat to the life and security of Russian citizens living in Ukraine and undoubtedly to the brotherly people of Ukraine," she said.
Yarovaya reiterated the repeatedly pronounced position of Russian parliamentarians that power in Ukraine was seized by force. "Organised criminal groups proclaimed themselves the new authorities and are acting in defiance of all rules of international law and the Ukrainian Constitution," she said. "The decision adopted by the Federation Council today is fully in line with the Constitution and international law, but most importantly it is aimed at protecting life and security." Yarovaya reaffirmed that Russia "respects sovereignty and has always acted and continues to act to protect the sovereign rights of people around the world. We have repeatedly warned the international community and the United States against interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine," she said, adding that "some European and U.S. politicians bear direct responsibility for the crisis in Ukraine, for the bloodshed and for the coup."
She believes that U.S. President Barack Obama's latest statement on Russia "has fully exposed the U.S. policy of brutal interference in the sovereign rights of other countries and aggressive imposition of its interests." "Our task is to prevent casualties among our citizens and protect constitutional order in Ukraine," he said.
The MP stressed that the Federation Council's decision "is essentially humanitarian in nature ... just as is the parliament's decision that the authorised international bodies should assess the legitimacy of the Verkhovna Rada which is acting outside the law and outside the interests of the people of Ukraine."
"The security of all people living in Ukraine, the supremacy of law, respect for the constitutional rights of the people of Ukraine, security and independence of the sovereign state of Ukraine - these are the ultimate values that Russia's decision aims to protect," Yarovaya said.
Her colleague Vladimir Komoyedov, chair of the Duma Defence Committee, told ITAR-TASS that the decision on the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine had been made "not to let blood" but to protect people.
"No one is speaking about combat operations. This decision was adopted not to use arms and 'let blood' but to protect our people," he said.
Komoyedov lauded the Federation Council's decision. "The current situation in Ukraine, I think, is clear to everyone. So, it was the right thing to do," he added.
Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs and Ties with Compatriots Leonid Slutsky said the decision was timely. "We are witnessing and participating in a civilisational clash 'for' and 'against' a one-polar world order. Russia has always been against this, but the West is trying to separate Ukraine from the Russian world, from Russia and from integration processes in the post-Soviet region in all possible ways," the MP said.
He stressed that the current developments in Ukraine "are an anti-constitutional coup that threatens the security and life of our compatriots, their fundamental rights and freedoms."
"We cannot remain indifferent to this. We must ensure security, primarily in Crimea as a region that is the bulwark of resistance to the coup and armed seizure of power in Kiev," Slutsky said.
He noted that Russia could and had a right to deploy a limited contingent of troops in Crimea "for the purpose of preserving the Russian Black Sea Fleet and the lives of our compatriots in Crimea and for resisting possible armed provocations by the present anti-constitutional regime in Kiev.