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LONDON – Britain, France and Germany all urged Russia not to escalate the crisis in Ukraine’s Crimea region Saturday as armed men took further control of local airports and government buildings.
The calls came after President Barack Obama warned Friday that any military intervention following the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovich would have costs for Moscow.
"France is extremely concerned by the reports from Crimea, which describe significant troop movements," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Saturday, according to Reuters.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he had spoken to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to call for a de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine's Crimea.
Hague said on Friday he would travel to Ukraine on Sunday to hold talks with the new interim leadership after Prime Minister David Cameron told Russia to respect the volatile nation's territorial integrity. Cameron spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.
Meanwhile German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that developments in Ukraine over the past few hours were dangerous and urged Russia to explain its intentions regarding its troops in the Crimea region. "The situation in Crimea in particular has become considerably more acute,” he said, according to Reuters.
“Whoever pours more oil onto the flames now, with words or actions, is consciously aiming for further escalation of the situation."
Reuters contributed to this report.