Kiev urges global help for Ukraine’s unity

Kiev, March 12: Ukraine issued an appeal to the Budapest Memorandum guarantor countries Tuesday for assistance to preserve its territorial integrity.

In the appeal, approved by the Ukrainian parliament, Kiev asked the US and Britain to “apply all possible diplomatic, political, economic and military measures” to maintain Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty, Xinhua reported.

In 1994, Kiev signed the Budapest Memorandum, under which Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in exchange for a guarantee of recognition of its sovereignty. Russia, the US and Britain, as guarantors of the treaty, are obliged not to use force against Kiev and mediate if a threat to Ukraine’s territorial integrity arises.

Ukraine now faces the threat of splitting up, after the parliament of its southern region, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, adopted a declaration of independence from Ukraine Tuesday. That decision will now be put to Crimean voters for approval in a referendum Sunday.

Kiev has described the referendum as “illegal,” saying it violates the legal procedures established by the Constitution of Ukraine.

he Crimean peninsula was transferred to Ukraine in 1954 as a gift to Kiev by then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukraine’s merger with the Russian empire.