March 12, 2015 / 9:24 AM / 3 years ago

Putin says Russia's actions in Crimea prevented conflict: RIA news agency

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s decisive actions in Crimea a year ago were to prevent a conflict similar to the one that followed later in east Ukraine, the state agency RIA Novosti reported on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the Kremlin in Moscow, March 5, 2015. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea after a March 16, 2014, referendum on the peninsula in support of joining Russia.

Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Christian Lowe

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