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Russian Invasion Real, Violates Budapest Pact, Says Kiev, Seeking NATO Help

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Russian forces had already invaded Ukraine with its armoured vehicles camouflaged without any visible Russian marks but helping the separatists inside the territory to capture a key town in the east.

A Reuters report said its reporter saw on Thursday a column of armoured vehicles and troops, one of them with marks of an injury on his face, driving a vehicle while an Mi-8 helicopter with a red star insignia and Russian military markings land nearby military first aid tent. The troops were seen moving away from the Ukrainian border near the village of Krasnodarovka in Russia’s Rostov region, said the report.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Russian troops have crossed the border amounting to invasion of Ukraine and appealed the NATO to allow membership for Ukraine and help fight the Russian troops. He said NATO should involve itself with possible military action and the United States should retaliate now with severe sanctions.

Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk told a government meeting in Kiev on Friday that the Ukrainian cabinet would “bring before parliament a law to scrap the non-aligned status of the Ukrainian state and establish a course towards membership of NATO.”

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels said Russia’s direct military operations in Ukraine were in blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. “Despite Moscow’s hollow denials, it is now clear that Russian troops and equipment have illegally crossed the border into eastern and south-eastern Ukraine,” Rasmussen said.

Russia, however, denies its forces are fighting inside Ukraine helping the pro-Russian rebels who have declared independence in eastern Ukraine.

The Budapest Memorandum, signed in 1994, seeks to provide security to Ukraine by Russia in return for the return of all nuclear weapons it had after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
But armed with NATO satellite evidence that shows Russian armor has crossed the border into Ukraine, Ukraine says the memorandum was clearly violated by Moscow.

But Ukraine is not a member of NATO to trigger immediate retaliation by the security group. But
NATO has already deployed forces to new bases bordering Russia, conducting frequent air surveillance over its already member states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It has called for a meeting next Thursday to discuss the situation in eastern Ukraine.

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