President Vladimir Putin says Russia poses no threat to anyone, but will safeguard its own security and that of its allies. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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As Russian military planes arrive in Crimea -- Vladimir Putin offers assurances that Russia presents no threat to anyone, as he meets with military chiefs in Sochi.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING:
"We pose no threat to anyone, and do not intend to get involved in any geopolitical games or intrigues, let alone conflicts, no matter who tries to draw us into them or how they do so."
A very different view from NATO Commander Philip Breedlove. He says the U.S. will continue to support Kiev in its battle for control of eastern Ukraine -- where he says Russia is providing the "backbone" to separatist rebels fighting government forces.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) NATO COMMANDER, U.S. AIR FORCE GENERAL, PHILIP BREEDLOVE, SAYING:
"The U.S. remains firmly committed, providing finances, equipment and specialized expert advice to Ukraine to help security forces here respond more effectively to defend against the attacks they are facing daily from Russian troops and the Russian-backed forces in the east."
Breedlove also expressed concern over what he said was Moscow's militarization of the Crimea peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in March.
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