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Putin: Kiev authorities refuse to hold substantial dialogue with Ukraine’s southeast

September 01, 2014, 11:44 UTC+3 1 1/9

The Russian president said the militias sought to force Ukrainian troops away from eastern Ukrainian cities to prevent them from attacking residential areas

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YAKUTSK, September 1. /ITAR-TASS/. The Kiev authorities refuse to hold substantial dialogue with Ukraine’s southeast, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin told BBC’s John Sweeney.

“I believe the main reason is that the current Kiev authorities do not want to hold a substantial political dialogue with the eastern part of their country,” Putin said. “I mean a substantial political dialogue.”

Speaking about the militia forces, Putin said that their purpose was to push the Ukrainian troops away from big cities "to prevent them from shooting at residential areas. “The aim of the militia is to push the armed forces and their artillery out to prevent them from firing at residential districts,” Putin said.

When visiting the Mammoth museum of the Northeastern Federal University, the BBC observer tried to approach the president to ask several questions. Putin promised to answer later, however, the journalist insisted on receiving the answers immediately.

“I’ll tell you in what the undergoing tragedy consists,” Putin said. “What is the aim and sense of today’s military operation in the east? And what triggered the stepping up of their activities,” the president said.

“They (activities of the militias) are triggered by the fact that Ukrainian regular troops have encircled major inhabited localities and are shooting directly on residential areas,” the Russian president stressed, putting a special focus on the idea that currently the main aim is to save civilians.

“This is what in many states, including in Europe, unfortunately prefer not to notice,” he stated.

Putin recalled that “a very important process, the process of negotiations” was about to start. He added that together with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and European colleagues, it took much effort to make it possible, and they managed to reach an agreement. “Today, the contacts are resuming,” Putin said.

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