Updated: 03/02/2014 9:11 AM
Created: 03/01/2014 5:14 PM WHEC.com
By: Associated Press
NATO's top official says Russia's military intervention in Ukraine is in violation of the U.N. charter and threatens peace and security in Europe.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke Sunday before going into a meeting of the North Atlantic Council, the alliance's political decision-making body.
"What Russia is doing now in Ukraine violates the principles of the United Nations charter. It threatens peace and security in Europe. Russia must stop its military activities and threats," he said.
The NATO secretary general said he called the meeting "because of Russia's military action in Ukraine and because of President (Vladimir) Putin's threats against this sovereign nation."
Rasmussen said officials will discuss Russia's activities in the Crimean Peninsula and "their implications for European peace and security and for NATO's relationship with Russia."
Hundreds of gunmen surround Ukraine military base
Associated Press journalists say hundreds of unidentified gunmen have just arrived outside Ukraine's infantry base in Privolnoye in its Crimea region.
The convoy includes at least 13 troop vehicles each containing 30 soldiers and four armored vehicles with mounted machine guns. The vehicles - which have Russian license plates - have surrounded the base and are blocking Ukrainian soldiers from entering or leaving it.
Ukrainian soldiers, with clips in their weapons, have positioned a tank at the gate.
U.S. calls on Russia to withdraw forces in Ukraine
President Barack Obama is calling on Russia to de-escalate tensions in Ukraine by pulling its forces back to bases in the country's Crimean peninsula and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine.
The White House says Obama delivered that message to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a 90-minute telephone call on Saturday afternoon.
A statement from the White House says the U.S. condemns Russia's military reach into Ukrainian territory.
Russia says Putin emphasized that real threats exist to the life and health of Russian citizens and that Russia has the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking people who live in that part of Ukraine.
Russia's parliament on Saturday gave Putin the right to deploy the Russian military in Ukraine.