The United States has put all military co-operation with Russia on hold over Moscow’s deployment of troops in Ukraine.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said the measure included all military exercises, port visits, bilateral talks and planning conferences.
“We call on Russia to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine and for Russian forces in Crimea to return to their bases, as required under the agreements governing the Russia Black Sea Fleet,” he said.
It comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops taking part in military exercises close to the Ukraine border in western Russia to return to their permanent bases on Tuesday.
Russian soldiers were also reported to have fired warning shots into the air as around 300 Ukrainian troops demanded their jobs back at Belbek air base in Crimea. The air base was seized over the weekend.
Moscow’s UN envoy told a stormy meeting of the United Nations Security Council that Ukraine’s ousted leader Viktor Yanukovych had sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin requesting that he use Russia’s military to restore law and order in Ukraine.
“The country has plunged into chaos and anarchy,” Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin read from an unofficial translation of the letter while speaking to reporters after an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council….see more