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Russia wants to create conditions for peace process in Ukraine — Putin

June 24, 2014, 21:24 UTC+3 VIENNA

The Russian president reminded that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had offered truce and demonstrated readiness for a peace process

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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

VIENNA, June 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia wants to create conditions for a peace process in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday after his talks with Austrian President Heinz Fischer.

“Russia and I as the head of the Russian state want to create conditions for this peace process,” he said. “That is why I asked the upper house of the Russian parliament to revoke its resolution that granted the right to use armed forces in Ukraine. But I hope the peace process will develop towards the settlement of problems of legal rights of citizens living in eastern regions. It is necessary to speak about changes in the constitution, about how people will live there and about how their rights will be observed.”

Putin reminded that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had offered truce and demonstrated readiness for a peace process. “I think, and I have told him too, that what has been done until now is not enough to really get out of the crisis. Because to say ‘we are ceasing fire for seven days and those who do not disarm will be exterminated’ is not a path to peace,” Putin said, but once again stressed that it was an important step towards settlement.

“We hope that a) armistice will be extended, and b) it will be used for substantive talks,” he stressed. It is not right, according to the Russian president to demand that people in Ukraine’s eastern regions disarm, “the more so as radical forces, such as the Right Sector and other radicals, are not disarmed yet, despite numerous promises that these illegal, as a matter of fact, groups will surrender arms.” “They never surrendered arms, even Maidan [Kiev’s central Independence Square] has not yet been cleared,” Putin said. “In such conditions, I think it pointless to demand that self-defense forces in eastern regions surrender arms. Reminding of what happened in Odessa, they say: “Today we surrender arms, and tomorrow we will be burnt alive.”

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