KIEV, Ukraine —
While Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk appealed Monday for outside help and insisted that Crimea still remained part of his country, European foreign ministers held an emergency meeting on a joint response to Russia's military move that could include economic sanctions. But there was no immediate response to the Russian statement, which would void the new government that Ukraine installed just last week.
"Any attempt of Russia to grab Crimea will have no success at all. Give us some time," Yatsenyuk said at a news conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in Kiev.
But he added that "for today" there were "no military options on the table." He said his country was "urgently" asking for economic and political support from other countries.
"Crisis diplomacy is not a weakness, but it is now more important than ever for us not to fall into the abyss of a military escalation," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Brussels.
In the meantime, Russian forces were clearly in charge in Crimea, home to 2 million mostly Russian-speaking people and landlord for Russia's critical Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol.
In addition to seizing barracks and border posts, troops also controlled a ferry terminal in the Ukrainian city of Kerch, just 20 kilometers (12 miles) across the water from Russia. That intensified fears in Kiev that Moscow will send even more troops into the peninsula via that route.
The soldiers at the terminal refused to identify themselves Monday, but they spoke Russian and their vehicles had Russian license plates.
Border guard spokesman Sergei Astakhov said the Russians were demanding that Ukrainian soldiers and guards transfer their allegiance to Crimea's new pro-Russian local government.
"The Russians are behaving very aggressively, they came in by breaking down doors, knocking out windows, cutting off every communication," he said.