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Conflict 'must be averted'

Bildt calls for calm on Crimean peninsula

Published fredag 28 februari 2014 kl 20.34
Armed men took control of two airports on the Crimean peninsula. Photo: Ivan Sekretarev/TT.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has called for calm in the Crimea and for all nations to respect the Ukraine's "territorial integrity".

On his personal twitter account, Bildt called the situation "alarming" and added that "Russia must immediately withdraw forces it controls" to agreed upon area. He wrote that the Crimean capital of Simferopol is "clearly outside this area."

Ukraine's interior minister accused Russia on Friday of staging an "armed invasion" of Crimea, the Associated Press reports, saying Russian troops have taken up positions around a coast guard base and two airports on the Black Sea peninsula.

Armed men took control of two airports in Ukraine's autonomous Crimea on Friday though Russia denied involvement in the seizures. Ukrainian authorities later said they regained control of the airports.

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