Putin says Moscow does not want war or confrontation
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia would stand up for itself but not at the cost of confrontation with the outside world.
Putin was speaking to Russian ministers and MPs in Crimea.
He also said Russia would do everything in its power to end the Ukraine conflict as soon as possible and stop the bloodshed there.
“All our partners in the world should understand that Russia, like any other large, powerful sovereign state, has various ways and means of ensuring its national interests, and these include armed forces,” he said.
In his speech on Thursday, Putin reportedly said Crimea was an inseparable part of Russia and that there was no turning back on Moscow’s takeover of the peninsula.
Putin took part in a meeting of the Russian Security Council during his visit.
Russian news agencies quoted Putin’s spokesman as saying the president discussed security issues in Crimea and Sevastopol as well as the work of police and the fight against corruption in the region.