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Russia, Ukraine favour quick end to hostilities
June 7, 2014, 3:01 am

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, was successful in bringing Putin, left, and Poroshenko, right, together for brief talks [AP]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, was successful in bringing Putin, left, and Poroshenko, right, together for brief talks [AP]

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for an immediate end to hostilities in Ukraine before talks between Moscow and Kiev could begin.

Putin’s comments to reporters came a few hours after he met with Ukraine President-Elect Petro Poroshenko for 15 minutes on the sidelines of D-Day commemorative events in Normandy, France.

The Russian President said he expected Poroshenko to show “good will” and “state wisdom” according to remarks quoted by the Associated Press.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin and Poroshenko favoured ending the bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine as soon as possible.

“During their brief conversation, [both leaders] also spoke in favour for both sides – the Ukrainian military forces and Ukrainian federalization supporters – to cease hostilities,” Peskov said.

“Moreover, it was confirmed that there was no alternative than to settle the situation through peaceful political means,” he added.

Putin also signaled that he is ready to hold talks on how Ukraine can meet its gas debts to Russia.

For his part, Poroshenko told journalists that he expects a statement from Russia about the recognition of his election, according to the Interfax news agency.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin also commented on Putin’s brief encounter with US President Barack Obama.

“Although there was no separate meeting, the heads of the two states got an opportunity to exchange opinions about the situation in Ukraine as well as about the crisis in the east of the country. Putin and Obama spoke in favor of defusing the violence and military actions as soon as possible,” a Kremlin statement said.

The Russian President also met in one-on-one talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss the Ukraine crisis.

During their one-hour talk, Cameron called on Putin to negotiate with Poroshenko and de-escalate the conflict.

“This was a meeting with a very clear and firm set of messages, which is that there is an opportunity for a successful, peaceful and stable Ukraine especially now there’s been a presidential election,” Cameron said in comments published by British media.

“But the status quo, the situation today, is not acceptable and it needs to change.”

Source: Agencies

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