Vladimir Putin defends his actions in the Ukraine
Putin defends Russia’s actions in Ukraine
Mon Mar 3, 2014 2:6AM GMT
Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country’s measures are totally fitting as far as the “extraordinary situation” in Ukraine is concerned.
In a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday, Putin pointed out that “ultranationalists” pose a major threat to “Russian citizens and Russian-speakers in Ukraine.”
Merkel, for her part, voiced concern about the latest developments in Ukraine.
After the phone talks, a German government spokesman said that President Putin has agreed to the formation of a fact-finding mission in Ukraine.
The spokesman said the mission will be like a contact group, and possibly work under the supervision of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
He added that the mission will work to start a political dialog between Moscow and Kiev.
A Kremlin statement also said Russia and Germany would continue consultations in bilateral and multilateral formats to seek the “normalization” of the situation.
Germany has reportedly accused Putin of “breaking international law,” saying the Russian “intervention” in Ukraine’s Crimea region is “unacceptable.”
However, the Russian leader defended Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, describing them as fully appropriate.
Russia has reportedly been dispatching hundreds of troops to the autonomous region of Crimea in southern Ukraine amid an escalation of political crisis in the former Soviet state.
Kiev has also called up all military reservists in preparation for a possible military conflict in the region.
Ukraine has been gripped by unrest since November 2013, when now-ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.