Putin says Crimean parliament acted in accordance with international law: Kremlin

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday that the steps taken by the authorities in Ukraine's Crimea region were in accordance with international law.

The pro-Russian parliament on the Black Sea peninsula has declared it part of Russia and announced a March 16 referendum to confirm this.

"Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin underlined in particular that the steps taken by Crimea's legitimate authorities are based on international law and aimed at guaranteeing the legitimate interests of the peninsula's population," the Kremlin said in a written statement.

"The Russian president also drew the attention of his interlocutors to the lack of any action by the present authorities in Kiev to limit the rampant behaviour of ultra-nationalists and radical forces in the capital and in many regions," the statement said.