Vladimir Putin Tells Ukraine To Start Talks On The East

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called on Ukraine to immediately start talks on a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Putin’s comment, made to national TV network Channel 1 and reported by Russian news agencies after they were broadcast in Russia’s Far East, said Ukraine should “hold substantive, meaningful talks, not about technical issues but about the question of the political organization of society and statehood in southeast Ukraine, with the goal of safeguarding the legitimate interests of those people who live there.”

Despite the use of the word “statehood, Vladimir Putin did not envision sovereignty for the two separatist eastern regions that style themselves as “Novorossiya” (New Russia ), his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said later, according to a Russian news report.

For more on this story, visit Jim Heintz, The Associated Press via The Tampa Tribune.

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