Turkey says Crimea integral part of Ukraine
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 7
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine, Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu said at a joint press conference with his Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov, Turkish TRT Haber TV channel reported on March 7.
The instable political situation in Ukraine can affect the entire Black Sea region, according to the foreign minister.
"Ukraine's territorial integrity is the most important issue for Turkey," Davutoglu said.
Turkish foreign minister also stressed that the security of Crimean Tatars is one of the priorities for Ankara, and Turkey has every right to protect them.
Mass protests in Ukraine began on November 21, 2013, when the government announced the suspension of the preparation of the Association Agreement with the EU. As a result of the protests, the country's President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted on Feb.22. The Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has approved the new composition of the parliament and is preparing to hold pre-term elections.
On Feb.26 several thousand people participating in two rallies gathered in front of Supreme Council of Crimea. After the escalation of the protest actions in Crimea, the Federation Council supported President Vladimir Putin's appeal regarding the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine pending 'the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country'.
Leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and the U.S., as well as the chairman of the European Council and the chairman of the European Commission made a joint statement condemning Russia's position on Ukraine and cancelled preparations for the G8 summit in Sochi, scheduled for June 2014.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by C.N.