Putin Stands Firm on Crimea Despite Obama Call

Russia's President Vladimir Putin maintained his position on the crisis in Ukraine, saying Moscow must not ignore calls for help from Russian speakers in that country, NBC News reported. During an hour-long call with President Barack Obama on Thursday, Putin said Ukraine’s new government was the result of an “unconstitutional coup” and was “imposing entirely illegitimate decision onto Crimea and the eastern and southeastern regions of Ukraine,” according to a statement on the Kremlin’s website. The White House earlier said that Russia's seizure of Crimea was a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and that the U.S. and European allies had “taken several steps in response.”

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