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WORLD
March 16, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine - Partial election results released late Sunday showed Crimean voters overwhelmingly supporting a referendum measure that would see their region break away from Ukraine and join Russia. With half the ballots counted, Mikhail Malyshev, head of the Crimea Election Commission, said in televised remarks that more than 95% of voters approved the option of annexation with Russia over a second option offered, which called for seeking more autonomy within Ukraine. The referendum was widely denounced by the United States, much of Europe and Ukraine's acting government, which came to power last month after protests drove pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich from power, as an illegal seizure of Ukraine's territory.
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WORLD
March 14, 2014 | By Henry Chu and Sergei L. Loiko
LONDON - The top U.S. and Russian diplomats tried but failed Friday to avert escalation of the conflict over the Crimean peninsula, leaving Moscow and Washington badly divided over the legality and consequences of a Sunday referendum on whether Crimea should secede from Ukraine. Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Western nations would not recognize the vote and that if the vote goes forward they would swiftly begin imposing sanctions on Moscow, whose proxies in Ukraine are driving the secession bid. He also warned that any move by the Russian government or lawmakers to ratify the outcome of the referendum, almost certain to endorse secession, would amount to an illegal "backdoor annexation" of Crimea.
WORLD
March 12, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
The leaders of Germany and Poland warned Russia on Wednesday that it has until Monday to agree to work with an international "contact group" to resolve the crisis in Ukraine's Crimea region or face immediate sanctions. At a meeting in Warsaw, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and German Chancellor Angela Merkel put the Kremlin on notice that what are seen as its provocative moves aimed at annexing Crimea -- despite Moscow's disavowal -- threatened to dramatically escalate tensions throughout Europe.
WORLD
March 12, 2014 | By Henry Chu
KIEV, Ukraine - For all its moral outrage and vows never to be partitioned, this country has become almost a bystander to the struggle over its future. With Russian forces looming over a disputed vote on secession in Crimea, it's increasingly clear that what happens to Ukraine will be decided not here in its capital, Kiev, but in Moscow, Washington and Brussels, the real power brokers in Europe's worst geopolitical crisis this century. By itself, Ukraine lacks the political, economic and military clout to take on its giant neighbor to the east.
WORLD
March 6, 2014 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- The European Union has frozen the assets of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, two of his sons and more than a dozen advisors who it says are responsible for stealing state funds. Announcement of the blacklist Thursday came as leaders of the EU's 28 member countries gathered for an emergency summit in Brussels to try to forge a tough common response to Russia's incursion into Crimea. Most of the 18 individuals affected by the asset freeze are members of Yanukovich's inner circle who were involved in the bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters in Kiev.
WORLD
March 5, 2014 | By Henry Chu
LONDON -- Trying to forge a united response to the crisis in Ukraine, the European Union is preparing to offer the embattled country up to $15 billion in grants and loans to help shore up its new government and improve its precarious financial position, a leading EU official said Wednesday. The offer from Jose Manuel Barroso , head of the European Commission, followed the Obama administration's announcement a day earlier that it would give $1 billion in energy subsidies to Ukraine.
WORLD
March 4, 2014 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration's plans to impose punitive economic sanctions on Russia - potentially its strongest response to Moscow's military intervention in Ukraine - already are facing resistance from administration allies in Congress and Europe. Although administration officials say they are prepared to freeze assets of top Russian officials and possibly target state-run financial institutions, European allies - who are heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas supplies - signaled they aren't ready to follow suit.
WORLD
February 28, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW -- Ukraine's deposed President Viktor Yanukovich declared himself still the legitimate leader of his divided country and said his Russian allies in the Kremlin “should and must act” to put an end to the political chaos. “Knowing the character of [Russian President] Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, I am surprised that he is until now so restrained and silent” on the subject of intervening to bring calm to Ukraine, Yanukovich said at a news conference in southern Russia carried live nationwide on Russia-24 television.
WORLD
February 23, 2014 | By Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW - Russia will withhold further loans and aid to Ukraine in the wake of the tumultuous leadership changes underway in the former Soviet republic until it becomes clear who will be in charge in the new interim government, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Sunday. Siluanov also said Moscow believes Ukraine should turn to the International Monetary Fund for help averting bankruptcy and reforming its corrupt and massively indebted budget, a signal that the Kremlin may be unwilling to further extend loans and subsidies to a nation now under the sway of pro-Western opposition figures.
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