X Close

World

Published: Sunday March 2, 2014 MYT 7:35:02 AM
Updated: Sunday March 2, 2014 MYT 7:35:02 AM

Putin to Obama : Russia ready to protect interests in Ukraine

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told U.S. President Barack Obama that Moscow reserved the right to protect its interests and those of Russian speakers in Ukraine if they come under threat, the Kremlin said.

In a statement posted online on Sunday, the Kremlin said Obama had expressed concern about the possibility of Russian military intervention in Ukraine after the upper house of parliament authorised Putin to deploy the military in Ukraine.

"In response to the concern shown by Obama ... Putin drew attention to the provocative, criminal actions by ultra-nationalists, in essence encouraged by the current authorities in Kiev," the statement said.

It said Putin had underlined that there are "real threats to the life and health" of Russians in Ukraine.

"Vladimir Putin stressed that if violence spread further in the eastern regions of Ukraine and in Crimea, Russia reserves the right to protect its interests and those of Russian speakers living there," it added.

Protesters opposed to the new authorities in Kiev staged rallies in a number of cities on Saturday in the mostly Russian speaking regions of southern and eastern Ukraine. Crimea is Ukraine's only region with a majority ethnic Russian population.

The Kremlin said Putin also had telephone conversations with French President Francois Hollande and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Putin told Ban Russia would resort to "whatever measures are necessary in compliance with international law" if violence is committed against Russian speakers in Ukraine.

Putin also underlined to Hollande what he said was the real threat facing Russian citizens in Ukraine since Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovich was deposed by leaders Russia has poured scorn on.

(Reporting By Timothy Heritage, Editing by Peter Graff)

advertisement

  1. A joyous Merdeka celebration
  2. Cops arrest 156 voluntary patrol members after state-level Merdeka procession
  3. Two youths killed in crash while racing in their Evo
  4. They acted like gangsters, IGP Khalid says of PPS
  5. Mei Fun: Police must arrest those behind attack on Guan Eng's home
  6. World champion still a dream for Chong Wei
  7. Proton offers sneak peek of new compact car
  8. Cops swoop in to arrest PPS members after Penang Merdeka parade
  9. 57 years of Malaysia
  10. Riot erupts after Sarawak-Perak football match in Kuching

advertisement

advertisement