By Mick Krever, CNN
Ukraine’s Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Andrii Deshchytsia, warned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in a phone call on Monday not to invade his country.
“I expressed our concern about the situation,” Deshchytsia told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour. “I also warned him not to use any military force to protect Russians in eastern Ukraine, since we have enough power to protect Russian-speaking [people].”
“We both agreed that we have to deploy all necessary means to deescalate [the] situation.”
Pro-Russian protesters have seized state buildings in several eastern Ukrainian cities, prompting accusations from Kiev that Moscow is trying to "dismember" the country and carry out a replay of Crimea.
Pleitgen pushed Deshchytsia on what he thought Russia’s game plan was.
“Don’t you think that this is something that the Russians are stage-managing here,” he asked, “and doesn’t it look awfully a lot like the blueprint that they used in Crimea?”
“It looks very much the same scenario,” Deshchytsia said.
According to Deshchytsia, Lavrov told him that Russia was partially withdrawing from the border.
But Deshchytsia said that according to Ukraine’s intelligence, Russia is replacing those troops with “more dynamic and more modern [military deployments near the] eastern borders of Ukraine.”
“The best way is to keep dialogue,” Deshchytsia said, saying that the two sides “need to talk.”
But “if Russians will not hear our arguments, then the next steps of sanctions and next steps of other means of pressure on Russia needs to be deployed.”