International monitors will be dispatched to areas of Ukraine after Russia finally agreed to sending teams to unstable regions - but not Crimea.
A 100-strong team from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe will be sent within 24 hours to monitor the situation for six months and try to reduce tensions.
On Friday, Russia agreed to join the 56 other members of the OSCE in a consensus decision to send the monitoring mission to nine regions in Ukraine.
Russia said it hoped the decision to send a monitoring mission in would help resolve what it called an "internal Ukrainian crisis".
But the team is not expected to go to Crimea, which was formally annexed by Moscow on Friday.
"The mission's mandate reflects the new political and legal realities and does not apply to Crimea and Sevastopol, which became a part of Russia," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement on Saturday.
OSCE monitors have made multiple attempts to enter the Crimean peninsula during the height of unrest but were repeatedly refused access at the border by armed men.
Crimea referendum and independence
Crimea referendum and independence
1/14 Crimea Referendum
A man shows his shirt with the Russian emblem as he celebrates the results of the Crimean referendum at the Lenin Square in Simferopol
2/14 Crimea Referendum
An elderly retired Soviet Navy officer and his wife take a walk in Sevastopol the morning after the referendum
3/14 Crimea Referendum
A man plays accordion as people dance during celebrations in Sevastopol
4/14 Crimea Referendum
People wave Russian flags as fireworks explode in the sky over Sevastopol following the announcement of the result of the referendum
5/14 Crimea Referendum
A member of a Ukrainian "Maidan" self-defense battalion takes part in training to qualify for service in the newly-created National Guard.
6/14 Crimea Referendum
Pro-Russian protesters hold a Russian, Crimean and Soviet flags during their rally at Lenin Square in Simferopol, Ukraine
7/14 Crimea Referendum
A member of the Crimean election commission waits for voters at the polling station in Belogorsk near Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine
8/14 Crimea Referendum
Polling stations opened in Crimea for a referendum about whether the Ukrainian Black Sea region should join Russia. The vote has been widely condemned by Western governments, who call it illegal and have announced sanctions against Russia if it goes ahead. Thousands of unmarked forces, believed to be Russian, have appeared in Crimea after local Moscow-backed authorities asked Russia for protection against 'extremists' in the new Ukrainian leadership
9/14 Crimea Referendum
A lettering on the facade of the Council of Ministers building reads 'Spring in Crimea' in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine
10/14 Crimea Referendum
People wave Crimean flags at Lenin square in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine
11/14 Crimea Referendum
A poster in Crimea presents a stark choice - Nazism, or Russia - to voters ahead of the referendum
12/14 Crimea Referendum
Protesters against Ukraine’s referendum gather in Simferopol
13/14 Crimea Referendum
Action stations: Preparations for today’s referendum in Simferopol, where Crimea will vote to become part of Russia
14/14 Crimea Referendum
Cossacks guard the regional parliament building in Simferopol during the Crimean referendum
Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry insisted Moscow has the right of a tit-for-tat response to the second wave of sanctions imposed by the European Union over Russia's annexation of Crimea.
READ MORE: TRAPPED UKRAINIAN FORCES ARE LEFT WITH AN IMPOSSIBLE DILEMMA
Q&A: THE EFFECTS OF SANCTIONS
Despite sanctions from both the EU and US, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law formally incorporating the Black Sea peninsula into Russia on Friday, less than a week after a referendum that overwhelmingly voted to join Russia.
"It's a pity that the European Council made a decision that is divorced from reality," the ministry's spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement on the ministry's website.
"We believe it is time to return to the platform of pragmatic cooperation that reflects the interests of our countries. However, of course, the Russian side reserves itself the right to give a comparable answer to the actions taken."
Additional reporting by agenciesReuse content