19 March 2014 - “I am profoundly concerned and disappointed by Russia’s headlong rush to annex the Crimea with flagrant disregard for international law and Russia’s treaty obligations” said NATO PA President Hugh Bayley (United Kingdom).
“President Putin’s speech on 18 March can only leave outside observers aghast at both its content and its reception by members of the Russian Federal Council and the Duma.
“The Ukrainian interim government and the international community have shown commendable restraint in the handling of this crisis, restraint which Russia’s leadership has treated with contempt.
“The international community must now decide how to respond. The carefully measured steps and calls for dialogue announced on 17 March by the European Union and the United States have been ignored. In recent days there has been talk of more severe, wider and far-reaching sanctions: now is the time to transform those words into deeds”, concluded Mr Bayley.