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Obama speaks by telephone with Putin [ENGLISH]

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03-01 at 21:42:09 CST

[As released by the Russian government - English translation]

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States Barack Obama on the American side’s initiative.

The two presidents discussed in detail various aspects of the extraordinary situation in Ukraine.

In reply to Mr Obama’s concern over the possibility of the use of Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin drew his attention to the provocative and criminal actions on the part of ultranationalists who are in fact being supported by the current authorities in Kiev.

The Russian President spoke of a real threat to the lives and health of Russian citizens and the many compatriots who are currently on Ukrainian territory. Vladimir Putin stressed that in case of any further spread of violence to Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Russia retains the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking population of those areas.