Putin has 'no intention' of further military moves into Ukraine: UN

Pro-Russian activists (left) speak to police officers guarding the regional state administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk during a rally on March 22, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP
Pro-Russian activists (left) speak to police officers guarding the regional state administration building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk during a rally on March 22, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - The UN secretary general said on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin assured him he had no intention of orchestrating further incursions into Ukrainian territory.

Ban Ki Moon told reporters that Putin told him "he had no intention to make any military move" after briefing the UN Security Council on his recent talks in Moscow and Kiev.

Ban was responding to a question from a reporter on whether Putin gave him any assurances that Russia was not planning to go into southern and eastern Ukraine after the annexation of Crimea.

"I should also tell you at the same time that President Putin also expressed his concern about some extreme radical elements and any such movement along the border lines," Ban said.

"The emotions were running high and tensions have been very highly charged.

Therefore my immediate priority was to urge the leaders of both (sides) to engage in direct dialogue." He added: "I also urged the leaders of the Ukrainian authorities to address all the domestic concerns which they may have which may also create concerns to the Russian side." But "he (Putin) assured me he would have no such intention" on further military initiatives, Ban said.