MOSCOW, March 3 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone Sunday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the situation in Ukraine.
According to the Kremlin, Putin responded to the German chancellor's expressed concern regarding Russia's occupation of Ukraine's Crimea region by claiming legitimate action was taken out of concern for Russian citizens and Russian speakers in the region, and that those actions were commensurate.
"Vladimir Putin drew the Federal Chancellor's attention to the unrelenting threat of violence by ultra-nationalist forces, endangering the lives and legitimate interests of Russian citizens and the entire Russian-speaking population. It was stressed that the measures being taken by Russia correspond fully to the extraordinary current situation."
The Kremlin added that the two leaders would continue diplomatic dialogue "to promote the stabilization of the situation in Ukraine."