Sunday, March 02, 2014

Putin Tells Obama Russia Will Act In Case Of Ukraine Violence

Via RIA Novosti:

Russian leader Vladimir Putin told U.S. President Barack Obama in a telephone conversation Sunday that Moscow reserved the right to protect its own interests and those of Russian speakers in the event of violence breaking out in eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

The Kremlin press service said Putin responded to Obama’s expression of concern over possible Russian plans to deploy troops in Ukraine by drawing attention "to the provocative, criminal acts of ultranationalist elements being effectively encouraged by authorities in Kiev".

Putin said that there was a real threat to the life of many Russians on Ukraine’s territory, the press service said.

Russia’s upper house of parliament voted Saturday to approve military action on Ukraine, citing the same motivations as those mentioned by Putin.

There is already a substantial Russian military presence in southern Ukraine, courtesy of the leased Black Sea Fleet naval base in the Crimean Peninsula.

Large movements of Russian troops have been reported around the peninsula, which is in defiance of express instructions from Ukrainian authorities this week for Russian soldiers to remain confined to their quarters.

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