Putin says Ukraine risks abyss, dialogue only solution

Putin says Ukraine risks abyss, dialogue only solution
# 17 April 2014 10:59 (UTC +04:00)

"Only through dialogue, through democratic procedures and not with the use of armed forces, tanks and planes can order be imposed in the country," Mr Putin said at the start of a major nationwide phone-in broadcast on Russian television.

He accused the authorities who took over after the fall of president Viktor Yanukovych of driving the country "to the abyss".

He also said it was "nonsense" to claim Russian forces were operating in the east of Ukraine, saying those involved in protest actions were "all local citizens".

Asked about Crimea, Putin justified his country’s position on this issue: “Russia could not do otherwise”.

Russian President said the army was obliged to ensure the safety of the referendum in Crimea and stressed that the military operation on the peninsula have been prepared in a hurry, but held at the professional level:

“We are concerned about the fate of Russian-speaking people living in Crimea. Russia has never attacked any country. Russia builds its relations with Ukraine basing on the real situation.”

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