Monday, Apr 27, 2015Monday, Apr 27, 2015

Putin, Ukraine leader back talks to end eastern revolt

Published on Jun 23, 2014 11:40 AM
Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, on June 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP 

SIVERSK (Ukraine) (AFP) - Ukraine's new Western-backed leader and Russian President Vladimir Putin have both called for dialogue to end a pro-Moscow uprising that has threatened the former Soviet state's survival and brought Europe to the edge of war.

The twin calls on Sunday from the central figures of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War era came with the ragtag militias in Ukraine's eastern rustbelt showing no desire to end their independence drive.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko - who will crown his May 25 election promise by signing a historic EU trade pact in Brussels on Friday that pulls Kiev further out of the Kremlin's reach - called a peaceful settlement "our plan A".

"But those who are planning to use peaceful negotiations only to buy time and regroup their forces must know that we have a detailed plan B. I am not going to speak of it now because I believe that our peaceful plan will work out," he said in a 12-minute television address.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!