russia

From CNN, where you can read the full story:

Diplomats scrambled Saturday to respond to the unanimous vote by Russia’s upper house of Parliament to approve sending military forces into Ukraine.

The vote followed a request from President Vladimir Putin for approval to send troops into Crimea to normalize the political situation there.

Putin cited the “extraordinary situation in Ukraine” in making his request, adding that the lives of Russian citizens and military personnel based in the southern Crimea region had been threatened.

Late in the evening, Ukrainian acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in a televised address in Kiev that he had been told by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that no decision had been made on whether Russian military forces would indeed enter his country.

Yatsenyuk said his country was ready to mobilize its forces to protect strategic locations, including nuclear power plants.

The Ukrainian military is at the highest state of military readiness, Defense Minister Igor Tenyukh said. He credited negotiations during the day between the Ukrainian and Russian naval chiefs with easing tensions and said more negotiations were planned for Sunday.

Ukraine’s new government condemned the move by Russia’s upper house.

“We perceive Russia’s actions as direct aggression towards the sovereignty of Ukraine,” said acting President Oleksandr Turchynov on the Twitter account of his Fatherland party.

Ukrainian opposition leader Vitali Klitschko said that he planned to ask Turchynov to call for parliament to meet in emergency session to vote to invalidate the Black Sea Fleet Naval Base agreement with Russia.

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