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Merkel urges Putin to push for dialogue in Ukraine

Published on Jan 30, 2014 4:23 AM

BERLIN (AFP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday to push for a "constructive dialogue" to defuse the crisis in Ukraine, her office said.

Ms Merkel held telephone talks with the Russian leader asking him to "push at his end for a constructive dialogue between the opposition and government" in Ukraine, it said in a statement.

"The violence must not return. Ukraine needs to have a working government quickly. All parties must accept their responsibility to stabilise the country and protect the rights of citizens," the statement added.

However the Kremlin, in a carefully worded statement released after the call rejected outside interference in Ukraine's affairs.

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