Spokesperson: Putin makes no decision on use of Russian army in Ukraine yet
President Vladimir Putin has not yet made any decision on the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Vesti v Subbotu television programme on Saturday, March 1, ITAR-TASS reported.
"Now that the Federation Council [upper house of parliament] adopted the relevant decision, the president has received the full array of means needed for settling the situation both in terms of using troops and in terms of making a decision on the head of our diplomatic mission in the United States," Peskov said.
But "the president has not yet made either decision. He will make these decisions depending on how the situation evolves. "We would like to hope that the situation will not develop the way it has been developing up to date - escalation and threat to the Russian-speaking population in Crimea," the spokesperson said.
Earlier in the day, the Federation Council gave the green light to the use of the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine pending normalisation of the situation in that neighbouring country.
The MPs voted by show of hands and adopted the decision unanimously.
Putin submitted a letter to the Federation Council "in connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, the personnel of the military contingent of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation deployed in the territory of Ukraine (Autonomous Republic of Crimea) in accordance with an international treaty, and pursuant to Article 102-1(d) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation."
The letter followed the Federation Council's appeal to Putin to take "exhaustive measures" to protect Russians in Ukraine.
"We have urgently summoned the house Council and thought it necessary to make a statement assessing the current situation in Ukraine," Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said.
"Today there is a real threat to the life and security of Russian citizens living in Ukraine. There is a threat to our military in Sevastopol and the Black Sea Fleet, and I think that Russia should not be a bystander," she said.
The main purpose of the Federation Council's appeal to the president is to urge him "to take exhaustive measures, all possible measures, to ensure the security of our citizens living in Ukraine, help our brotherly Ukrainian people achieve stabilisation and channel the current crisis into a civilised legal track so that the agreements that were signed by the opposition leaders and the head of state were implemented strictly," Matviyenko said.
She noted that members of the Federation Council "asked the president to take exhaustive measures to prevent further escalation and put the resolution of the political crisis onto a legal track so that those who have grabbed power did not hurry so much and did not trample upon the rights of people and different regions of Ukraine."
The Federation Council also asked Putin to consider the possibility of recalling the Russian ambassador from the United States.