Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Moscow has no intention of sending troops into Ukraine.
Sergei Lavrov’s comments came after Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama discussed a possible diplomatic solution to the crisis.
The US-backed plan calls for Russia to halt to its military build-up on the border with Ukraine and withdraw its troops in Crimea to their bases.
Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Paris on Sunday.
Reports say John Kerry was flying home from the Middle East on Saturday when he abruptly changed travel plans and instructed his plane to fly to Paris.
Tensions over Ukraine rose following the overthrow of pro-Kremlin Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February, following months of street protests.
Moscow later intervened in Crimea, a predominantly ethnic Russian region of Ukraine where its troops are stationed, saying the takeover in Kiev was a pro-fascist coup.
Russia then annexed Crimea after the region held a referendum which backed joining the Russian Federation.
Western countries condemned the vote as illegal and imposed sanctions on members of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.
Meanwhile Ukraine’s interim authorities have been pressing ahead with elections due in May.
On Saturday boxer and opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko pulled out of the race for president.
He announced he was supporting billionaire Petro Poroshenko saying: “The only chance of winning is to nominate one candidate from the democratic forces.”
Former Ukraine’s PM Yulia Tymoshenko has also said she will stand.
In an interview with state TV channel Rossiya 1 on Saturday, Sergei Lavrov said: “We have absolutely no intention of – or interest in – crossing Ukraine’s borders.”
Sergei Lavrov added that Russia was ready to protect “the rights of Russians and Russian-speaking people in Ukraine, using all available political, diplomatic and legal means”.
After the interview was broadcast, it emerged Sergei Lavrov had spoken by phone to John Kerry, in a conversation that Russian officials said was initiated by the US.
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