President Vladimir Putin on Saturday asked the upper house of Russia's parliament for permission to activate Russian armed forces stationed in Crimea, the Kremlin said in a statement.

"Due to the extraordinary situation that has taken shape in Ukraine and the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, and the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation who are deployed on the territory of Ukraine (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) under an international treaty, I hereby introduce, under Clause (g) of Part 1 of Article 2012 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, an appeal for the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine pending the normalization of the social and political situation in that country," Putin said in a message to the Federation Council.

Russia may send limited armed force to Crimea to protect Russian citizens, Black Sea Fleet - Federation Council chair>>>

Russia may send a limited armed force to Crimea to ensure security of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and Russian citizens staying there, Federation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko says.

"Perhaps in this situation we could grant the Crimean government's request and send a limited contingent there to provide security of the Black Sea Fleet and Russian citizens living in Crimea," Matviyenko said on Saturday.

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