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Putin justifies potential military move in Ukraine to protect Russian interests

English.news.cn   2014-03-02 17:58:45

MOSCOW, March 2 (Xinhua) -- President Vladimir Putin has shared his assessment of critical situation in Ukraine with several world leaders, justifying Russia's potential military move in that country, the Kremlin press service said Sunday.

In a telephone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama, Putin said Russia retained the right to protect its interests and Russian speakers living in Ukraine if violence spread on eastern Ukrainian regions and the Crimea, an autonomous region that is the epicenter of the ongoing crisis in that country.

Putin noted "real threats to life and health of Russian citizens and numerous compatriots living in that country."

He attributed Russia's possible military move to "provocative and criminal actions by ultra-nationalistic elements that are actually encouraged by current authorities in Kiev," the Interfax news agency said.

When talking with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Putin said Russia could not stay aside if violent actions were taken against Russian speakers in eastern Ukrainian regions and Crimea.

Russia would take necessary measures according to international law, he added.

Both sides said further escalation of the crisis in Ukraine should be averted.

Putin also discussed ways of possible settlement of the situation and agreed to continue talks in another telephone conversation with his French counterpart Francois Hollande.

Russia's parliament authorized Putin to use military forces to protect Russian interests in Ukraine earlier Saturday.

Related:

Russia undecided on further troop deployment, West warns against military intervention in Ukraine

KIEV, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin made no decision on Saturday on sending troops to Ukraine despite winning approval from Russia's parliament, while Western countries harshly warned against any possible military intervention in Ukraine.

Putin's decision will depend on how the Ukrainian situation evolves, his spokesman said after Russian parliament announced authorizing Putin to use military force in Ukraine to protect Russia's interests. Full story

Obama concerned about Russia's "clear violation" of Ukrainian sovereignty

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama, in lengthy talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the phone on Saturday, voiced "deep concern" over Russia's "clear violation" of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Obama called for Russian forces to be withdrawn back to bases in Crimea, an autonomous republic in Ukraine but a focal point now in the country's ongoing crisis. Full story

Ukraine unrest: Obama raises intervention concerns with Putin

BEIJING, March 2 (Xinhuanet) -- US President Barack Obama has spoken on the phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss rising tensions in Ukraine.

Obama reportedly raised serious concerns over any possible intervention by the Russian military. Putin said Russia reserves the right to protect its interests in the region as well as the safety of ethnic Russians in Ukraine. Full story

Editor: Mengjie
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