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Latest on Ukraine: "U.S. condemns Russia's military reach into Ukrainian territory."

By: ap
By: ap

UNITED STATES-RUSSIA
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is calling on Russia to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine by pulling its forces back to bases in the country's Crimean peninsula and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine.
The White House says Obama delivered that message to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a 90-minute telephone call on Saturday afternoon.
A statement from the White House says the U.S. condemns Russia's military reach into Ukrainian territory.
Russia says Putin emphasized that real threats exist to the life and health of Russian citizens and that Russia has the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking people who live in that part of Ukraine.
Russia's parliament on Saturday gave Putin the right to deploy the Russian military in Ukraine.

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) -- NATO says the North Atlantic Council, the alliance's political decision-making body, and the NATO-Ukraine Commission will both hold meetings on Sunday. NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen (AHN'-derz fohg RAHS'-moo-sihn) says the allies will "coordinate closely" on the situation in Ukraine, which he describes as "grave."
The U.N. Security Council met in an open, televised session on Saturday afternoon after closed-door consultations, despite initial objections from Russia to an open session. The council heard speeches from a U.N. deputy secretary-general and several ambassadors, but did not take any action.
Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.N. Yuriy Sergeyev asked the Security Council "to do everything possible now" to stop what he called Russian "aggression."
Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said the government in Kiev needs to get away from "radicals" and warned, "such actions they're taking could lead to very difficult developments, which the Russian Federation is trying to avoid."
Churkin also said Russia was intervening at the request of pro-Russian authorities in the autonomous Crimea region that is part of Ukraine.

CANADA-UKRAINE
OTTAWA (AP) -- Canada says it is pulling its ambassador from Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.
A statement issued by Prime Minister Stephen Harper after an emergency Cabinet meeting says Canada also will boycott meetings leading up to the Group of Eight international economic summit being chaired by Russia in June.
Harper strongly condemns Russia's military intervention in Ukraine and urges President Vladimir Putin to withdraw his troops.
International pressure is growing on Russia after its troops took over the strategic Crimea region Saturday. Russia's parliament granted Putin authority to use the military to protect Russian interests in Ukraine, where a new government has been named after demonstrations pushed President Viktor Yanukovych from office.
President Barack Obama, U.N. Security Council members and others are asking Russia to de-escalate tensions.

UKRAINE
Ukraine leader puts military on high alert
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine's acting president says he has ordered the country's armed forces on full readiness because of the threat of "potential aggression."
Speaking live on Ukrainian TV, Oleksandr Turchynov said Saturday he had also ordered stepped up security at nuclear power plants, airports and other strategic infrastructure.
His comments on Ukrainian TV came after Russia's parliament approved a military intervention in Ukraine and Russian troops and pro-Russian units took up positions across the strategic Crimea region.


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