President Vladimir Putin said Moscow could not stand aside when people were being shot at in Ukraine, he told Russia's state TV Channel 1 in an interview.
It must be borne in mind that Russia cannot stand aside when people are being shot at almost at point blank.
Mr Putin also said ending the crisis was down to "the political will of the current Ukrainian authorities".
The West has accused Moscow of supporting pro-Russian separatists who are fighting Ukrainian government forces in the east of the country.
Were the Russians -as Barack Obama claims - weighed down by sanctions, or where the Ukrainians looking to cut their losses?
The new president of the European Council could be "very important" for David Cameron.