Iran FM: NATO has provoked Ukraine crisis
The Iranian foreign minister says the crisis unfolding in Ukraine stems from the provocative acts by the US-led NATO military alliance, but added that there is no military solution to the crisis.
“The Ukraine crisis is rooted in NATO provocative actions,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a post on his official Twitter account on Thursday, as Russia launched a military operation in the Donbass region in parallel with airstrikes on military targets inside Ukraine.
“We do not see resorting to war as a solution. Establishing a ceasefire and focusing, instead, on a political and democratic solution is a necessity,” the top Iranian diplomat tweeted.
In a televised address early on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in the eastern Ukraine regions of Donetsk and Lugansk — which are ruled by self-proclaimed republics — to “defend people” there against Kiev’s forces.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasised: "We are pursuing a special flight for the Iranians to leave Ukraine."
Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said today (Thursday): "From the very beginning of the tensions in Ukraine, an office for crisis management was formed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."
Khatibzadeh added: "By issuing two announcements, we warned Iranian citizens to stay away from critical points, and there is a 24-hour line in Iran and the embassy."
The spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said: "We are in contact with both sides of the conflict and we emphasized that the security of our Iranian compatriots is a priority. Due to the situation in Ukraine in the last 10 days, no country has been able to evacuate its citizens by air."