Ukraine's new defence minister promises Crimea victory

Thu, 03.07.2014 20:27

Kiev/Ukraine in Arabic/ew Ukrainian Defence Minister Valeriy Heletey has vowed to hold "a victory parade" in Crimea, restoring the country's territorial integrity.

Addressing parliament in Kiev, he said: "Believe me, there will be a victory parade - there will be for sure - in Ukraine's Sevastopol."

Russia annexed the peninsula in March after a controversial referendum.

In eastern Ukraine, a government offensive against pro-Russian separatists is continuing.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have urged Russian President Vladimir Putin in a conference call to use his influence to put pressure on the rebels in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Mr Putin said he was "deeply concerned about the rise in deaths among the civilian population and sharp increase in refugees" entering Russia from south-eastern Ukraine, according to the Kremlin.

All three leaders agreed that the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should play a more active part in monitoring the situation in the conflict zone.


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