White House warns Russia to avoid "provocative" actions with Ukraine

WASHINGTON Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:42pm EST

WASHINGTON Feb 27 (Reuters) - The White House warned Russia on Thursday to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and told Moscow to avoid "provocative" actions with regard to the crisis-hit country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered 150,000 troops to be ready for war games near Ukraine on Wednesday, and on Thursday, Russia put fighter jets on combat alert.

"We strongly support Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. We expect other nations to do the same," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a briefing. (Reporting by Jeff Mason and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bill Trottr)

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