SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

March 22, 2014

Crimea goes east, Ukraine goes west in 2 new deals

BRUSSELS — Two almost simultaneous signatures yesterday on opposite sides of Europe deepened the divide between East and West, as Russia formally annexed Crimea and the European Union pulled Ukraine closer into its orbit.

In this “new post-Cold War order,” as the Ukrainian prime minister called it, besieged Ukrainian troops on the Crimean Peninsula faced a critical choice: leave, join the Russian military or demobilize. Ukraine was working on evacuating its outnumbered troops in Crimea, but some said they were still awaiting orders.

With fears running high of clashes between the two sides or a grab by Moscow for more of Ukraine, the chief of the U.N. came to the capital city Kiev and urged calm all around.

All eyes were on Russian President Vladimir Putin, as they have been ever since pro-Western protests drove out Ukraine’s president a month ago, angering Russia and plunging Europe into its worst crisis in a generation.

Putin sounded a conciliatory note yesterday, almost joking about U.S. and EU sanctions squeezing his inner circle and saying he saw no reason to retaliate. But his government later warned of further action.

Russia’s troubled economic outlook may drive its decisions as much as any outside military threat. Stocks sank further, and a possible downgrade of Russia’s credit rating loomed. Visa and MasterCard stopped serving two Russian banks, and Russia conceded it may scrap plans to tap international markets for money this year.

Despite those clouds, Putin painted yesterday’s events in victorious colors, and fireworks burst over Moscow and Crimea on his orders, in a spectacle reminiscent of the celebrations held when Soviet troops drove the Nazis from occupied cities in World War II.

At the Kremlin, Putin signed parliamentary legislation incorporating Crimea into Russia, hailing it as a “remarkable event.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • 140721_SN_PBI_MARKETB_090 Thousands rally after 8 Market Basket execs are fired

    TEWKSBURY -- Valerie Edge has never been afraid for her job. Through the death of her father, a near-fatal crash involving her daughter, and her own lengthy illness, the five-year employee of the Epping, N.H., Market Basket said her bosses always tol

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos 1 Slideshow 4 Stories

  • 140721_SN_DLE_MARKETBASKET5 North Shore Market Basket workers, customers remain defiant

    MIDDLETON -- The Market Basket revolt continues, despite the firing of eight insurgent employees. Workers at the Middleton store on Monday were still making clear their position in favor of ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, though in some cases with ca

    July 21, 2014 5 Photos 5 Stories

  • Lindsay Obama denies religious exemption urged by Gordon College president

    WENHAM — The letter that has caused so much controversy for Gordon College has gone unheeded by President Barack Obama.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo 7 Stories

  • Tobin Bridge toll booths are history BOSTON -- The next time you drive over the Tobin Bridge on Route 1 into Boston, you won't have to fumble for your wallet or root through your purse to pay the toll. On Monday, the state Department of Transportation replaced the toll booths on the upp

    July 22, 2014

  • 140715_SN_DLE_ABBOTTHALL1 Heard Around Town: For Seth Moulton, there's no place like home Candidate for congress in the Democratic Party and Marblehead homeboy Seth Moulton might have gotten a jolt when the Democratic Town Committee recently endorsed his opponent, incumbent Rep. John Tierney of Salem. The Marine Corps and Iraq veteran is

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos