Putin: Troops Have Pulled Back from Ukraine Border

Image: Putin: Troops Have Pulled Back from Ukraine Border

Wednesday, 07 May 2014 11:57 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Russia has pulled back its troops from the Ukrainian border, Vladimir Putin told diplomats Wednesday as he urged insurgents in southeast Ukraine to postpone their planned referendum Sunday on autonomy.

In a Moscow meeting with Swiss president Didier Burkhalter, Putin said the Russian troops have been pulled back to their training grounds and locations for "regular exercises," but didn't specify whether those locations were in areas near Ukraine.

Putin also called on Ukraine's military to halt all operations against pro-Russia activists who have seized government buildings and police stations in at least a dozen towns in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine launched a government offensive late last week to take back buildings and towns under control of the insurgents. At least 35 people, including many rebels, have died in that offensive, the government said.

Many had feared that Sunday's vote on more autonomy would be a flashpoint for further violence between the rebels and Ukrainian troops in the east. Russia annexed the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in March after residents held a vote and overwhelmingly backed secession.

Urgent: Do You Approve of Obama's Handling of Foreign Policy? Vote Here

"We believe that the most important thing is to create direct, full-fledged dialogue between the Kiev authorities and representatives of southeast Ukraine," Putin said. "Because of this, we ask that representatives of southeast Ukraine, supporters of federalization in the country. postpone the May 11 referendum in order to create the necessary conditions for such a dialogue."

Despite Putin's comments, pro-Russia militants calling themselves the Donetsk People's Republic said they would still carry out the referendum on Sunday.

Putin also described Ukraine's May 25 presidential election as a move "in the right direction," and said his talk with Burkhalter, who is chairman-in-office for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, encouraged him that "our approaches (to Ukraine) coincide."

The Russian leader still repeated Russia's long-held stance that constitutional reforms must precede any nationwide vote in Ukraine.

In Berlin, a leading Ukrainian presidential candidate said he was prepared to negotiate a decentralization of power as pro-Russia insurgents in the east have demanded.

But Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire chocolate magnate, added that some insurgents in the eastern region understand only "the language of force."

Urgent: Do You Approve of Obama's Handling of Foreign Policy? Vote Here

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Hamas Spokesman: We Are Targeting Ben Gurion Airport

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 19:44 PM

After dodging the question a day earlier, Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan told CNN on Wednesday that the group is indeed ta . . .

Reports: Texas National Guard Won't Have Power to Arrest

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 19:40 PM

Texas National Guard troops headed for the Rio Grande Valley to help stem the surge of children and adults pouring acros . . .

Defiant Bloomberg Scolds CNN's Blitzer in Israel: 'Don't be Ridiculous'

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 18:33 PM

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel on Tuesday night to prove it is safe to do so and to urge th . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved