President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday Russia was not to blame for the crisis over Ukraine's Crimea region.
At a meeting with paralympic delegations in the Black Sea city of Sochi, Putin thanked officials for keeping politics out of the Winter Paralympics being hosted by Russia.
"I would like to express gratitude to you for keeping the Paralympics out of politics. And the uneasy circumstances which you well know about did not affect it. And I would like to stress that Russia was not the initiator of the circumstances that have taken shape," he said.
Crimea has been taken over by Russian forces and holds a referendum on Sunday on joining Russia. Ukraine and Western leaders say the referendum is illegal.
Meanwhile, China doesn't speak up until there are economic issues to cover.
China's top envoy to Germany has warned the West against punishing Russia with sanctions for its intervention in Ukraine, saying such measures could lead to a dangerous chain reaction that would be difficult to control.
In an interview with Reuters days before the European Union is threatening to impose its first sanctions on Russia since the Cold War, ambassador Shi Mingde issued the strongest warning against such measures by any top Chinese official to date.
"We don't see any point in sanctions," Shi said. "Sanctions could lead to retaliatory action, and that would trigger a spiral with unforeseeable consequences. We don't want this."
And the Ukraine are expanding their forces after a vote to increase their "national guard"
Ukraine's parliament has voted to create a 60,000-strong National Guard to bolster the country's defences.
The vote came ahead of Sunday's referendum in Crimea, now controlled by pro-Russian forces, on whether citizens want to join Russia.
President Vladimir Putin insists Russia is not to blame for the crisis.
But Germany's Angela Merkel says Moscow faces "massive" political and economic damage if it refuses to change course. The US has also threatened action.
Russia was exploiting the weakness of neighbouring Ukraine, rather than acting as a partner for stability, the German chancellor said on Thursday, adding that there was no military solution to the crisis.