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Russian takeover of Crimea unlikely – Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave Tuesday a press conference on the situation in Ukraine

15:35. "Acting Ukrainian authorities should provide security to all the citizens of the country," says Vladimir Putin after the last question about the safety of the Russian-speaking minority in the western regions of Ukraine.

15:34. Gazprom will not restore old gas prices for Ukraine, it discontinues current quarterly disconuts, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

If Ukrainian partners do not pay for gas in February, Ukraine's debt to Gazprom will reach $2 billion.

15:32. Putin sees no obstacles for Tymoshenko to arrive in Russia, but he reminds that she holds no post in Ukraine now.

Russia has always cooperated quite fruitfully with the Ukrainian governments espousing different political outlooks, including the government of Yulia Tymoshenko, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

15:31. Instructors from the West might have been involved in preparing the coup in Ukraine, says Putin

15:28. "Anyone could win presidential elections in Ukraine, it's impossible to predict," Putin answers to a question. Putin sees no partners in Ukraine until new elections.

Russia will not recognize presidential election in Ukraine if it is held in the same atmosphere of terror, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters.

15:27. "People in south-eastern Ukraine should feel safe," says Putin

Russia has reinforced protection of country’s military facilities in Crimea over coming threats, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed to reporters in his countryside residence on Tuesday.

“We have reinforced protection of our military facilities, because we were receiving threats and saw that gunmen from terrorist organisations were coming,” he noted.

Russia does not consider Crimea's takeover as a likely option.

15:25. Possible attempts to sabotage the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games in Russia’s Sochi, due on March 7-16, will be an act of “extreme cynicism,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

15:24. Situation in Ukraine is not an anti-constitutional state coup, it's a revolution.

15:23. Russia wiil think twice and try to predict all possible reactions on the situation in Ukraine.

15:16. Russian President Vladimir Putin is certain that Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych just saved his life when he made a decision to move to Russia.

“What I am saying is that death is the easiest way of eliminating a legitimate president. This is precisely what would have happened. I believe he would have been murdered there,” he told reporters.

15:14.  Putin says he gave orders to the government to retain ties with the new Ukrainian authorities. Russian officials have ties to Ukraine's Yatsenyuk and Turchynov, Vladimir Putin said.

15:11. "Ukraine's industry has very close ties with Russia. If Yanukovych had signed the association agreement with the EU, the industry would have stopped," says Vladimir Putin.

Russia is prepared to work jointly with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to encourage Ukraine to launch economic reforms, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

15:09. It's very easy to ruin the ties between Russia and the USA, but very hard to build up ahain, comments Vladimir Putin on the reaction of the US to the crisis in Ukraine.

No decision to revoke Russia's Ambassador to the US has been made yet, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his countryside residence on Tuesday.

Russia keeps getting ready for G8 summit.

15:03. Putin says that Ukrainian protesters were trained by specialists, and they are not less trained than riot police.

14:58. "What were our partners' motives? They supported illegitimate state coup," says Vladimir Putin. "We keep trying to cooperate with the new authorities, even though we don't recognize them."

14.57. Possibility of sending troops to Ukraine remains, but there is no such need for the time being, says Vladimir Putin. Russia has no intention to go to war against Ukrainian people. "If the decision to use military force in Ukraine were made, it would be legitimate," says Putin. "Russia's national interests are concerned, and it would be a humanitarian action,"  he adds.  Use of Russian troops in Ukraine would be last resort to be employed only on legitimate basis. If rampage begins in Eastern regions of Ukraine, Russia will reserve the right to use all available means.

14.56. Fincical markets seemed hysterical long before the conflict. The recent fall of the markets was most harmful to India and other BRICS countries, including Russia.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday he believes the masterminds of sanctions against Russia should think hard because the aftereffects of their move will be reciprocal.

“Of course we can tarnish each other to some degree but this tarnishing will be reciprocal and this is something they should think about,” he said.

Russia is full of patience and readiness for cooperation even in the conditions of highly complicated relations with Kiev, he said, adding that he had instructed the government to consider ways of maintaining contacts with the incumbent Ukrainian authorities.

14.53. Ukraine's new authorities "have no right to determine the country's future."  "People of Ukraine must have a chance to determine their future, future of their region."

14.51. "Russia was right to provide security to the Crimean population as there were armed militants heading for the region."

14.50. "Russian and Ukrainian armed forces are friends," Vladimir Putin comments on the situation in Ukraine's Crimea. That's why there are no shots heard in the Crimea.

Anti-constitutional actions fuel the situation in eastern and south-eastern Ukraine.

14.49. Putin says there's no democracy in Ukraine. People are killed and burned alive, President says.

14.43. Russian President says overthrow of constitutional order and armed seizure of power occurred in Ukraine.

14.40. Yanukovych issued not a single illegitimate order

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych about chaos, if the latter withdrew police from Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, after signing the February 21 agreements.

“I told him (Yanukovych) not to do this. 'Chaos and anarchy will set in your country. Have mercy on people',” Putin said, recalling that the government and other offices had been captured then.

“That chaos that I warned about started,” the president noted.