The parliament on Friday adopted a statement demanding that Russia, the United States, and the UK as the guarantors of Ukraine's security and territorial integrity under the Budapest Memorandum preclude any use of military force against Ukraine.
The parliament also demanded that Russia "discontinue the steps aimed at encroaching on Ukraine's territorial integrity and supporting separatism. In the event of an escalation of the situation in the Crimea the Verkhovna Rada will seek immediate aid from the UN Security Council. "Special missions of the OSCE and the Council of Europe are invited to Ukraine to check whether the rights of all the ethnic and religious communities in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and other regions are being properly observed," the statement said. As we have reported, groups of armed men broke into the buildings of the Crimean parliament and government in the early hours of Thursday. Also, as of Friday noon, the airports of Simferopol and Sevastopol as well as all access roads to those cities remained blocked by Russian military servicemen and so-called "self-defence squads". Interior Minister Arsen Avakov described the blocking of the Crimean airports as an "armed invasion and occupation". "I assess this as an armed invasion and occupation, in violation of all international treaties and norms. This is a direct provocation of bloodshed on the territory of a sovereign state. The situation has gone beyond the competence of the Interior Ministry. Now it is within the competence of the National Security and Defence Council. While there is no direct armed conflict, diplomats have to speak," Avakov said. According to him, the Interior Troops and the police have reinforced patrols near the airports, but the tension is rising. "The law enforcers will not be able to resist troops," he said.