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China, India call for calm in Ukraine crisis
March 8, 2014, 5:39 am

File photo of Indian NSA Shivshankar Menon (left) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi [Xinhua]

File photo of Indian NSA Shivshankar Menon (left) and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi [Xinhua]

Even as the US announced the first set of sanctions against Russia for allegedly violating Ukrainian sovereignty, India and China have called for calm and restraint on all sides in the current standoff.

China on Saturday said the complex Ukrainian crisis needs a prudent approach.

“The more complex the problem, the more necessary for it to be handled in a prudent way,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Wang was addressing the annual Parliament session in China.

The Chinese Foreign Minister said, “it is not by accident that the situation has reached this point”.

“The priority now is to exercise calm and restraint and prevent further escalation of the situation,” Wang said.

Meanwhile, New Delhi has said Moscow has “legitimate” interests in Ukraine and they should be discussed to find a satisfactory solution to the issue.

“We are watching what is happening in Ukraine with concern… The broader issues of reconciling various interests involved and there are, after all, legitimate Russian and other interests involved and we hope those are discussed, negotiated and there is a satisfactory resolution to them,” Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon said two days ago.

The Indian National Security Advisor was asked to comment on India’s assessment of the situation in Ukraine and its overall impact on Indian interests. Menon expressed hope that the “internal issues in Ukraine are settled peacefully” but refused to comment further saying “at this stage when everything is fluid, I don’t think we can tell you.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Washington on Friday against “hasty and reckless” steps over the crisis in Ukraine that could harm Russia-US relations.

Lavrov told US Secretary of State John Kerry that any sanctions against Russia “would inevitably hit the United States like a boomerang.”

US President Barack Obama on Thursday announced the first set of sanctions against Moscow to punish Russia for perceived violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The sanctions include visa bans and asset freezes against unidentified Russian officials deemed responsible for the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis.

Crimea, a majority ethnic Russian region within Ukraine, decided on Friday to ignore a presidential order and proceed with an upcoming vote to secede and join Russia.

Crimea’s parliament, members of which have declared they do not recognize the interim government in Kiev, decided on Thursday to secede from Ukraine and request annexation by Russia.


TBP and Agencies