MOSCOW, March 4 (RAPSI) – The events that have unfolded in Ukraine in recent weeks constitute a coup, and the armed seizure of power, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a press conference Tuesday.

Putin added that while at present there is no need to send the Russian armed forces into Ukrainian territory, the possibility remains open.

He explained that the unidentified armed forces blocking the Crimean military installations are not Russian military, and the Russian armed forces have not participated in Crimea's self-defense efforts.

On Saturday, the Kremlin’s administration stated that Russia will not ignore the plea made by Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov to the Russian president in a bid to ensure peace in the autonomous republic.

Putin said that the current Crimean Prime Minister was legitimate, as all necessary and lawful procedures in his election were compliant with the law. Putin also said that Yanukovich, who has fled to Russia, remains Ukraine’s legitimate president. “The Ukrainian parliament is partly legitimate, but all other authorities aren’t,” he said.

Russia’s upper house of parliament approved the use of the armed forces in Ukraine – which shares an extensive land border with Russia – over the weekend, which was criticized by the US and a number of European countries.  Notably, US Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC’s “Meet the Press” show Sunday that the United States and some of its allies were “prepared to go to the hilt to isolate Russia.”