Sergei Aksyonov, who was appointed prime minister of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by the Crimean parliament, has backed the request made by Viktor Yanukovych to send Russian troops to Ukraine.
"Yanukovych is asking - and he has a right to do it - in this case, the Russian Federation fulfils more duties to ensure public order and to protect Russian citizens of Ukraine from physical violence. And I support Russian President Vladimir Putin in that," Aksyonov told a press conference in Simferopol on Tuesday.
According to earlier reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russian troops can only be used in Ukraine in the most extreme cases.
Russian experts do not think a full-scale war is likely, but speculate that the Russian authorities may have more to lose by staying the course than backing down in the face of Western sanctions. Read more >>>
Russia calls for geopolitical calculations to be set aside and to focus on the interests of the Ukrainian people in the current situation in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. Read more >>>