Putin says Russia does not want Ukraine to be divided further

MOSCOW, March 18 Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:48am EDT

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MOSCOW, March 18 (Reuters) - Russia does not want Ukraine to be split apart, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday, trying to assure Kiev and the West that he does not want to seize more of Ukraine after approving plans to make Crimea part of Russia.

"Don't believe those who try to frighten you with Russia and who scream that other regions will follow after Crimea," Putin said. "We do not want a partition of Ukraine, we do not need this."

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