Russia's Foreign Minister has issued a stark warning to the Ukrainian government, saying that his country will retaliate if its interests are threatened.
Sergei Lavrov's words came as Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister announced a new phase of "anti-terrorist" actions against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
“If we are attacked, we would certainly respond. If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law,” he told Russia Today.
Mr Lavrov also claimed that the Americans were now "running the show" in Ukraine".
European Union foreign ministers added 13 people to their visa ban and asset freeze list over Ukraine's crisis.
Well that’s the voting over, and no surprises so far. A ‘Yes’ vote claimed to be 89% in Donetsk, and suddenly Ukraine is no more.
Nearly 90 percent of voters in eastern Ukrainian region voted for self-rule, the head of the separatist election commission said.