Russia could send a "limited contingent" of troops to the Ukrainian region of Crimea to assure the security of Russia's Black Sea Fleet and its citizens, the speaker of the upper house of parliament said Saturday.
"It is possible in this situation... to send a limited contingent of troops to ensure the security of the Black Sea Fleet and Russian citizens," said Federation Council chief Valentina Matviyenko, in theory Russia's number three figure after the president and the prime minister.
"The decision lies with the president of our country, the commander in chief (Vladimir Putin). But looking at the situation today, such a scenario cannot be excluded. We have to protect people," she said, quoted by Russian news agencies.