The Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he hopes to avoid military action in Ukraine and use diplomacy to resolve the crisis there.
Speaking during a televised question and answer session with the Russian people, Putin said that the country's parliament had given him a mandate to use military force in Ukraine.
The leader told the audience that the solution to the crisis lay with different political parties within Ukraine and not between Russia and the US.
Al Jazeera's Peter Sharp reports from Moscow.
Source: Al Jazeera