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Ukraine's acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya speaks to the UN General Assembly on March 27.

Live Blog: UN Backs Ukraine Integrity

Final Summary For March 27

-- The UN General Assembly has passed a resolution that affirms Ukraine's territorial integrity.

-- The IMF has announced "a staff-level agreement" with Kyiv on assistance of $14 billion-$18 billion in conjunction with a reform program that will "unlock" up to $27 billion over the next two years, pending final approval next month. Tthe U.S. Congress has also passed an aid bill for Ukraine.

-- Ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko has announced plans to run for president.

-- Members of the Right Sector have been holding a demonstration outside the Ukrainian parliament building to vent their anger at the killing of prominent member Oleksander Muzychko earlier in the week.

-- Six Ukrainian military officers detained by pro-Russian troops in Crimea have been released, including Colonel Yuliy Mamchur, but five others are still being held captive.

-- Anonymous sources quoted by CNN say U.S. intelligence "concludes it is more likely than previously thought that Russian forces will enter eastern Ukraine."

-- U.S. President Barack Obama, in the keynote speech of his visit to Europe, chided Russia for its use of "brute force" in Ukraine and vowed that a determined alliance of the United States and Europe will prevail over time.


*NOTE: Times are stated according to local time in Kyiv
17:49 27.3.2014
17:10 27.3.2014
Here's another Crimea-related item from RFE/RL's newsdesk:
Ukraine says it is cutting the number of staff at the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Yevhen Perebyynis told reporters in Kyiv today that the measure was taken due to a "significant decrease in the bilateral cooperation with the Russian Federation."

Perebyynis called the move "a natural measure."

He did not give any details on the exact number of embassy staff scheduled to be cut.

According to Perebyynis, the Kremlin has cut the staff of the Russian Embassy in Kyiv in recent days as well.
Moreover, Ukraine also says it plans to increase radio broadcasts to its Crimea region.

The deputy secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council (RNBO), Viktoria Syumar told journalists in Kyiv today that a new Russian-language service will be set up within Ukrainian National Radio and that a series of programs directed at Crimea will be created.

Syumar said the "reinstatement of Ukraine's informational presence in Crimea is an important goal."

She added that Ukrainian National Radio's signal in Crimea and some regions of Russia is very strong and will be strengthened further.

The announcement comes after a court in Kyiv ruled on March 24 to suspend the broadcasts of Russia's four major television channels in Ukraine -- RTR, Channel One, NTV, and Rossiya-24 -- pending a lawsuit brought by the National Broadcasting Council against a company that retransmits the Russian channels.
(UNIAN, Interfax)
16:55 27.3.2014
More from the UN General Assembly ahead of the expected vote on Ukraine's territorial integrity:
The head of the EU delegation to the UN Thomas Mayr-Harting has denounced the use of force to redraw borders and "condemns Russian actions that are in clear breach of the UN Charter" at session of UN General Assembly.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said "the resolution before us is about one thing and one thing only -- affirming the territorial integrity of Ukraine."

Power added that "Ukraine is justified in asking us not to recognize the status quo" Russia is pushing.
16:31 27.3.2014
Andriy Deshchytsya's speech to the UN General Assembly has been directly followed with an address by Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin:

He has said that a referendum was held in Crimea, the penusular has historically been a part of Russia, and that the Crimean people never lost their desire to be part of Russia.

Churkin added that "legitimate government ceased to exist" in Kyiv since former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was "forced to vacate" the country.

He called the upcoming resolution "confrontational" and said that Russia could not ignore the appeals of "Crimeans to be allowed to realize their right to self-determination."
16:27 27.3.2014
Ukrainian acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya has been addressing the UN General Assembly:
In his speech, he lashed out at Russia's annexation of Crimea, saying that international security agreements have been "seriously compromised" by Moscow's actions.

He also said that the text of a resolution on Ukraine's territorial integrity before the UN General Assembly "serves a de-escalatory purpose" and that "a strong vote today will deter territorial violations."

In what seems to have been a reference to events since the ouster of former President Viktor Yanukovych, he said "one month has cost us dearly" and urged the General Assembly to adopt the resolution.
15:43 27.3.2014
Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has announced a press conference for tomorrow from his Russian exile.
15:34 27.3.2014
15:28 27.3.2014
Ukraine's acting foreign minister tweets ahead of today's UN debate on possible condemnation of Russia's Crimean annexation:
14:38 27.3.2014
Might not prove so simple.
14:36 27.3.2014
RFE/RL's Armenian Service quotes Kyiv's ambassador to Yerevan vowing that Ukraine will preserve diplomatic ties with Armenia no matter how Yerevan votes on Russia's annexation of Crimea at a session later today of the UN General Assembly. A spokesman for the Ukrainian Embassy in Yerevan, Ihor Roman, told journalists that Ukrainian Ambassador Ivan Kukhta, who was recalled by Kyiv, will return to Yerevan next week to continue his duties.

Armenian Foreign Ministry officials told RFE/RL yesterday that Yerevan would abstain from the vote on the resolution, which affirms Ukraine's territorial integrity and calls illegal the referendum held in Crimea on joining Russia. Kyiv recalled its ambassador last week after reports said Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, had agreed by phone that the disputed referendum on Crimea joining Russia was an "example of peoples' right for self-determination."

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