Russia has denied any direct role in the Crimean crisis and warned that any related U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow will boomerang back, RFE/RL reports.
The statements came as armed men tried to seize another Ukrainian military base overnight on the peninsula.
Ukraine's acting foreign minister, Andriy Deshchytsya, meanwhile vowed that Ukraine will never give up Crimea and said Kyiv is doing everything it can to resolve the crisis peacefully.
Deshchytsya, at a press conference in Kyiv on March 8, urged Russia to allow international observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other organizations into Crimea to monitor the situation.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists in Moscow on March 8 that Russia has no direct role in the crisis in Crimea.
He also said the government in Kyiv "is not independent" and "depends, unfortunately, on radical nationalists."
Lavrov also accused Kyiv of barring Russian journalists from entering Ukraine, saying it was a flagrant attack on freedom of information.