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Putin says Ukraine risks abyss, dialogue only solution

Published on Apr 17, 2014 4:31 PM
 
Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives his annual televised question-and-answer session with the nation in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. Mr Putin on Thursday accused Ukraine's new authorities of driving the country towards the abyss but said that dialogue was the only way out of the intensifying crisis. -- PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused Ukraine's new authorities of driving the country towards the abyss but said that dialogue was the only way out of the intensifying crisis.

"Only through dialogue, through democratic procedures and not with the use of armed forces, tanks and planes can order be imposed in the country," Mr Putin said at the start of a major nationwide phone-in broadcast on Russian television.

He accused the authorities who took over after the fall of president Viktor Yanukovych of driving the country "to the abyss".

He also said it was "nonsense" to claim Russian forces were operating in the east of Ukraine, saying those involved in protest actions were "all local citizens".

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