Ukraine split in two - Putin

Comment on this story


iol pic wld_UKRAINE-CRISIS-RUSSIA-PUTIN_0

REUTERS

Putin might have thought he could get away with keeping the conflict simmering with a divided Europe wary of imposing tough sanctions that could plunge its own economy back into recession.

Moscow -

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Ukrainian society is split after being forced to choose between Europe and Russia, speaking shortly after Kiev inked the EU association accord.

“The anti-constitutional coup in Kiev, the attempts to impose an artificial choice between Europe and Russia have pushed society to a split, to a painful internal confrontation,” Putin said in Moscow.

“Ukraine must return to a path towards peace, dialogue and agreement,” he said as he received foreign ambassadors in the Kremlin.

“The main thing is to ensure a long-term ceasefire as a necessary condition for holding thorough negotiations between Kiev authorities and representatives of the south-east regions.”

“We are sincerely trying to assist in the peace process,” Putin added.

Western leaders this week pressured Putin to help Kiev authorities end the conflict in the separatist east, where the regions of Lugansk and Donetsk have declared independence and are battling against government troops.

Moscow has denied direct involvement in the conflict, although some of the militants are believed to be Russians.

Putin has urged Kiev to grant more autonomy to the Russian-speaking regions and extend Kiev's one-week ceasefire which was announced last Friday and is set to expire later in the day.

The Kremlin strongman has repeatedly stated that Ukraine cannot pursue closer EU integration and at the same time expect preferential treatment from Russia.

His spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Friday reiterated that Moscow will introduce necessary measures to protect itself.

Deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin warned for his part that the EU pact Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed off on in Brussels will have “serious consequences.” - Sapa-AFP


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks

Business Directory