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China speaks for political resolution of Ukraine crisis

March 10, 2014, 10:24 UTC+3 BEIJING
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BEIJING, March 10, 10:07 /ITAR-TASS/. China speaks for the resolution of the current situation in Ukraine, which has been in political turmoil since its legitimate leader Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a violent uprising in February, by political and diplomatic means, the Chinese president said Monday.

“The Chinese side sticks to an objective and just position in the Ukrainian issue,” President Xi Jinping said in a phone conversation with US leader Barack Obama, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

“The situation in Ukraine is very complicated. In the current conditions, all sides need to stay cool and reserved, avoid steps that may lead to escalation of tensions,” Xi said. “It is necessary to maintain the course for resolution of the crisis by political and diplomatic means.”

Xi said he hoped the parties to the conflict in Ukraine would be able to “resolve differences through dialogue and consultations.”

Earlier he said he was against threats of sanctions in international relations.

After Yanukovich was ousted in February, Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, appointed an interim head of state, set early presidential elections for May 25 and approved a new government, which the Autonomous Ukrainian Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, does not recognize.

Crimea’s Supreme Council on March 6 made a principled decision for the republic to secede from Ukraine and become part of the Russian Federation. The issue was put to a referendum that would take place on March 16.

The current Ukrainian leadership and the West have condemned the upcoming Crimean referendum as illegitimate. The West has threatened Russia with sanctions. Moscow's position is that the new Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate after the coup that ousted Yanukovich, but that Crimea’s authorities are legitimate.

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