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Published: Sunday March 2, 2014 MYT 3:00:04 AM
Updated: Sunday March 2, 2014 MYT 3:01:01 AM

Russian speaker warns Kiev against using force in east, Crimea-parliament

KIEV (Reuters) - A Russian parliamentary leader warned Ukraine's acting president on Saturday that Moscow would respond militarily if Kiev used force against peaceful citizens in the east of the country and Crimea, the Ukrainian parliament said.

In a statement on its website, the assembly said Oleksander, acting president and parliamentary speaker, had spoken by telephone to Sergei Naryshkin, the chairman of Russia's State Duma or lower house.

It said Naryshkin had declared its readiness to resort to "military aggression .. If force is used against peaceful citizens of Ukraine in the territory of Crimea and the east.

Crimea is the only region with an ethnic Russian majority and people in the east of Ukraine and mainly Russian speakers.

(Reporting By Pavel Polityuk, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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