The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

World News

March 3, 2014

Russia demands 2 Ukraine warships surrender

(Continued)

KIEV, Ukraine —

He said four Russian military ships, 13 helicopters and 8 transport planes had arrived in Crimea in violation of agreements that permit Russian to keep its naval base at Sevastopol.

Now, fears in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and beyond are that Russia might seek to expand its control by targeting and seizing other parts of Ukraine, especially in its pro-Russian east.

"The world cannot just allow this to happen," Hague said, but he ruled out any military action. "The U.K is not discussing military options. Our concentration is on diplomatic and economic pressure."

Ukraine is also struggling on the financial front. The treasury is almost empty and its currency is under pressure after years of running large deficits. The International Monetary Fund said a fact-finding mission would visit Ukraine starting Tuesday for 10 days. Ukraine has asked the IMF for rescue loans and says it needs $35 billion to pay its bills over the next two years.

Market reaction to the Russian invasion of Crimea was immediate Monday. In European trading, gold and oil rose while the euro and stock markets fell. The greatest impact was felt in Moscow, where the main RTS index was down 12 percent at 1,115 and the dollar spiked to an all-time high of 37 rubles.

Russia's central bank hiked its main interest rate 1.5 percentage points Monday to 7 percent, trying to stem financial outflows.

Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, was also big loser, its share price down 13 percent as investors worried about how it would get its gas to Europe if hostilities kept up, since much of it goes through Ukrainian pipelines.

Outrage over Russia's military moves has mounted in world capitals, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back from "an incredible act of aggression." Kerry is to travel to Ukraine on Tuesday.

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