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Russia's Putin says wants 'diplomatic solution' to Ukraine crisis: London

Published on Mar 9, 2014 10:54 PM

LONDON (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday he wanted to find a "diplomatic solution" to the crisis in Ukraine, in a telephone call with British Prime Minister David Cameron, according to Downing Street.

Mr Cameron had called Mr Putin to urge him to “de-escalate” the situation in Ukraine and to support the formation of a contact group that could lead to direct talks between Moscow and the new leaders in Kiev. “President Putin agreed that it is in all our interests to have a stable Ukraine,” a Downing Street spokesman said. “He said that Russia did want to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis and that he would discuss the proposals on the contact group with Foreign Minister (Sergei) Lavrov tomorrow.”

Mr Cameron had made clear to Mr Putin that Britain, along with its European partners and the United States, “want to work with Russia to find a diplomatic
solution to the situation in Ukraine, including Crimea”. The British Prime Minister told Mr Putin that “we recognise the right of all Ukrainian people to choose their future” and that elections scheduled for May “provide the best way to do this”.

Meanwhile, a Russian lawmaker said on Sunday that Moscow is ready to provide US$1.1 billion (S$1.4 billion) in aid to Crimea as the region moves to break away from Ukraine, a senior Russian lawmaker said Sunday.

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