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Putin calls for end to Kiev’s military op, postponing referendum in E. Ukraine

Published time: May 07, 2014 13:26
Edited time: May 07, 2014 20:59

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) speaks with the head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, as they meet in the Kremlin in Moscow, on May 7, 2014. (AFP Photo / Sergei Karpukhin)

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Ukrainian right-wing groups are behind the recent events in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, adding that Kiev has not disarmed them. He also called on anti-Kiev protesters to postpone a May 11 federalization referendum.

"Russia believes that the crisis, which originated in Ukraine and is now actively developing in accordance with the worst-case scenario, is to be blamed on those who organized the coup in Kiev on 22-23 February and still do not care to disarm the right-wing and nationalist elements," the president said.

Direct dialogue between Kiev and anti-government protesters in southeast Ukraine is key to ending the crisis, Putin said.

It is now essential to create “to create the necessary conditions for this dialogue,” he added.

This, however, would require rescheduling the referendum, which anti-government activists scheduled on May 11 to determine the fate of southeast Ukraine.

“We are calling for southeast Ukraine representatives, supporters of federalization of the country, to postpone the May 11 referendum to create the necessary conditions for dialogue,” Putin said at a press conference with OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss President Didier Burkhalter in Moscow.

In response to Putin’s offer, one of the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Denis Pushilin, said the possibility would be discussed Thursday.

We respect Putin’s position. He is a balanced politician. So we will submit this proposal tomorrow to the people’s council,” he said.

Putin also described Ukraine's May 25 presidential election as a move "in the right direction", but stressed the importance of constitutional reforms that would have to precede any nationwide vote in Ukraine.

'Russia withdraws troops from Ukrainian border'

President Vladimir Putin also said that Russia has withdrawn its troops from the Ukrainian border.

We have been told that our troops by the Ukrainian border are a concern – we have withdrawn them. They are now not near the border, but at locations where they conduct regular drills at ranges,” he said.

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested holding "roundtable discussions," a proposal that Moscow fully supports, Putin added.

Moscow and the OSCE agree substantially on the approach to resolving the situation in Ukraine, Putin said, adding that negotiations had made it clear.

“Moscow is interested in a swift resolution of the crisis in Ukraine, taking into consideration the interests of all people of the country,” he said.

OSCE drafting Ukraine roadmap

In the coming hours, OSCE will offer a “roadmap” on Ukraine, Burkhalter said.

Our offer now is the following: literally in the next few hours we would like to offer a roadmap for the four signatories of the Geneva agreements," Burkhalter said, adding that the roadmap lays out “concrete steps” to resolve the Ukrainian crisis.

There are four major points, he said: "These are the ceasefire, the de-escalation of tensions, the dialogue and elections." Burkhalter added that the roadmap had been discussed earlier in Vienna.

It comes as a “more pragmatic” alternative to the so-called Geneva-2 peace talks on Ukraine, which Burkhalter said for now are not being planned to be held.

Burkhalter also believes that dialogue between Kiev and southeast Ukraine is a “realistic prospect.

As for the probability of a national dialogue in Ukraine, I think it's quite a realistic prospect, because only Ukrainian people need to be involved in determining their own destiny,” he said.

On behalf of OSCE, Burkhalter said that the organization is ready to take responsibility for coordination the “roadmap” and negotiations with the US and the EU will be taking place soon.

Comments (841)


Pamela Davis 12.05.2014 02:48

piece is the only way out-balance-with good deeds let Ukraine simmer- work towards trade. balance the west and east. Ukraine wants it's independence and identity yet needs help. Russia needs to be a helper yet policy could work towards opening up a port. it's similar to Quebec- it very part of Canada but totally on it's own. Taiwan is the same with china-take the Taiwanese identity away and you have civil war. Yet china heavily invested in Taiwan as in terms of industry that benefits the Taiwanese workers and some revenue for china.


theodore grapsas 11.05.2014 17:34

Please someone help me as I feel that I live in another planet. Have tried hard to be impartial and see all view points on this Ukraine situation. but I am being bullied and confused with such a huge anti-Russian orgy by not only so-called western leaders but the media as well. despite the FACTS, obvious PROOF, LOGIC, and simple FAIR PLAY, somehow Mr Putin is spoken of and treated like a mad monster, EVERYTHING is his fault and Russia. no matter what Russia does or proposes to solve the crisis is dismissed any comments??


Suppiah Adnan 10.05.2014 06:28

[quote name='Basil Eneh' time='09.05.2014 04:48']President Putin's stance is clearly intended to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine. The response from Kiev shows that we are dealing with political thugs and opportunists.

The Ukrainian army must decide whether the protection of Ukraine is same as protecting such thugs. Nothing short of a military coup will prevent the permanent split of Ukraine into different countries.
[/quo te]

The Kiev junta is supported by bigger thugs and bullies - Obama & Cronies, hence any proposal from Russia is not acceptable. Ukrainian army? Probably taken over by the fascists and nazis.

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