Russia's Putin says use of force in Ukraine is a choice of last resort

MOSCOW, March 4 Tue Mar 4, 2014 5:58am EST

MOSCOW, March 4 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday the use of force by Russia in Ukraine was a choice of "last resort".

At his first news conference since Ukraine's ousted leader, Viktor Yanukovich, fled from Ukraine, Putin also said Russia reserved the right to intervene if there was "lawlessness" in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.

Any intervention, he said, would be "legitimate and within the framework of international law".

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