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Kiev authorities needed dialogue with east Ukraine instead of sending troops - Putin

November 17, 2014, 7:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he believed the central authorities in Ukraine should have initially attempted to establish a dialogue with the self-proclaimed regions of Ukraine instead of sending troops there.

In an interview with German TV channel ARD, Putin recalled the order of events, which led to the current situation in the country saying that the most important thing that was missed was the dialogue.

“The coup took place in Kiev,” he said. “A considerable part of the country supported it, and they were happy partly because they believed that after the signing of, say, the Association Agreement there will be open borders, job opportunities, the right to work in the European Union, including in Germany. They thought that it will be like that.”

“In fact, they have nothing of the sort,” the Russian president continued. “The other part of the country, the southeast, did not support it and said, ‘We do not recognize you.’ And instead of starting a dialogue, instead of explaining to people that the central authorities in Kiev are not going to do anything bad, and on the contrary, they will propose various forms of coexistence and development of a common state, they are ready to grant them their rights, instead of that they begin making arrests at night.”

“Once the night arrests began, people in the southeast took up arms,” Putin said. “Once they took up arms, instead of stopping [the authorities should have the wisdom to do that] and starting this dialogue they sent the army, the air force, tanks and multiple rocket launchers. Is this a way to solve problems? And ultimately everything came to a deadlock.”

“Is it possible to get out of it? I am sure that it is possible,” Putin added.

Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway southeastern territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics, have killed over 4,000 people.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk. The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.

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