Tension and fears are mounting
And here are some other pieces that break down what is happening:
Russia considers anti-sanctions law
Russian lawmakers were working on a draft law that would allow the confiscation of property, assets and accounts of European or U.S. companies if sanctions are imposed over Ukraine, the state-run news agency Ria Novosti reported Wednesday.
The bill "would offer the president and government opportunities to defend our sovereignty from threats," Andrei Klishas, the head of the constitutional legislation committee in the upper house of parliament, said
Lawyers were looking into whether the proposal would comply with the Russian constitution, but according to Klishas, such steps would "clearly be in line with European standards."
The European Union will consider sanctions against Russia if there is no deescalation in the Ukraine crisis, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Wednesday.
Possible sanctions will be on the agenda when EU leaders meet Thursday, he said via Twitter.
Lavrov - Forces in Crimea
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov echoed President Vladimir Putin's denial that Russian troops are in control in Crimea, saying that the troops in question are "self-defense" forces over whom Russia has no control.
Decisions on whether international observers should be sent into Ukraine are for leaders in the country to make, he said. He pointed out that the newly installed pro-Russian government in Crimea does not see the authorities in Kiev as legitimate.
"This problem is multi-faceted. In order to calm the situation down everyone must act in accordance with the law," he said Wednesday.
The Kremlin is threatening to hit back if the European Union sanctions Russia over its actions in Ukraine.
Russian lawmakers are drafting a law that will allow Russia to confiscate assets belonging to U.S. and European companies if it faces sanctions.
Russian forces remain in effective control of the Black Sea peninsula, in a tense standoff with Ukrainian forces loyal to the new interim government in Kiev.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned Wednesday on Twitter that possible sanctions will be on the agenda when EU leaders meet Thursday.
"We do not expect the current Russia-Ukraine situation to have any impact on our civil space cooperation with Russia, including our partnership on the International Space Station program," said Allard Beutel, a NASA spokesman.
The space collaboration between the two nations has survived other diplomatic kerfuffles. And there's no need to worry, NASA says.
But in space, it's a different story.
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"We cannot and will not allow the integrity or the sovereignty of Ukraine to be violated" or let any such violation go without redress, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said moments ago in Paris, where he and other top diplomats met with Russia's foreign minister about Ukraine.
He said the United States is "ready to work with all parties" to resolve the crisis.
He said foreign ministers -- including those from Russia and Ukraine -- meeting today in Paris "agreed to continue intense discussions in the coming days."Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met three times today in the French capital. One of those meetings included a "brief and informal discussion" among Kerry, Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, an official said.