EU: No armed intervention in Ukraine

Updated: 2014-05-07 07:13

By Agencies in Donetsk, Ukraine, Brussels and Moscow (China Daily)

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European Council President Herman Van Rompuy ruled out EU military intervention to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, according to ITAR-Tass.

In his view, the EU should "use other tools" to help resolve the crisis.

"We must help the country economically and politically in the creation of new institutions," the European Council newspaper Soir quoted him as saying.

 EU: No armed intervention in Ukraine

Pro-Russian militants escort an man outside the regional state building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Monday. Genya Savilov / Agence France-Presse

Van Rompuy said he believes that Ukraine has become a "victim of a campaign to destabilize undertaken by external elements".

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Geneva agreement on Ukraine should get a new life. He made the remarks on arrival at the Ministerial Session of the Council of Europe. "If there is an opportunity to breathe new life into the agreements reached in Geneva three weeks ago, we should try to do this," he said, according to ITAR-Tass

Meanwhile, Russia will beef up its Black Sea fleet this year with new submarines and warships, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

New air defense and marine infantry units will also be deployed at the fleet's bases, which include Sevastopol in Crimea, he said.

"New submarines will join the Black Sea fleet, as well as new-generation surface ships, this year. All this requires much attention from us," Interfax News Agency quoted Shoigu as saying.

Shoigu said the fleet would receive funding of 86.7 billion roubles ($2.43 billion) by 2020.

The fleet, which analysts say comprises around 40 frontline warships, is seen as a guarantor of Russia's southern borders and a platform for projecting power into the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, according to Reuters.

Ukraine's interior minister said on Tuesday that 30 pro-Russian insurgents were killed during operations to expunge anti-government forces in and near a city in the east, while Kiev authorities attempted to reassert control over the southern region of Odessa by appointing a new governor there.

Arsen Avakov said on his Facebook page on Tuesday that four government troops also died and 20 were injured during fighting in Sloviansk.

Gun battles took place at various positions around the city on Monday in what has proved the most ambitious government effort to date to quell unrest in the mainly Russian-speaking east.

Avakov said on Monday that pro-Russia forces in Sloviansk, a city of 125,000, were deploying large-caliber weapons and mortars in the region, and both sides had casualties. Government troops were facing about 800 insurgents, he said, according to The Associated Press.

In Donetsk, a major city some 120 kilometers south of Sloviansk, international flights from the local airport were suspended on Tuesday. The airport said on its website that the cancellations were ordered by the government.

Reuters-AFP-China Daily

(China Daily 05/07/2014 page11)