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Ukraine mulls severing diplomatic ties with Russia — Poroshenko administration

July 16, 2014, 14:25 UTC+3 KIEV
Relations between Russia and Ukraine have been recently strained by a host of issues including Crimea’s merger with Russia, disagreements on the price for the Russian gas supplies
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Ukrainian and Russian national flags seen on top of the Kharkiv administration (archive)

Ukrainian and Russian national flags seen on top of the Kharkiv administration (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Kozlov

KIEV, July 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The Ukrainian presidential administration studies the possibility of severing diplomatic relations with neighboring Russia and the subsequent outcome of such move, Valeriy Chalyi, a deputy chief of the Ukrainian presidential staff, told journalists on Wednesday.

“The Ukrainian authorities are studying such possibility and the (subsequent) results of such step,” Chalyi said.

Relations between neighboring Russia and Ukraine have been recently strained by a host of issues including Crimea’s merger with Russia, disagreements on the price for the Russian natural gas supplies and the ongoing combat conflict in the southeastern parts of Ukraine between pro-Kiev military forces and pro-federalization supporters, whom Kiev believes to be allegedly backed by Moscow.

However, Chalyi added that there were other methods of resolving the political standoff besides cutting off diplomatic relations.

“There are other methods besides severing diplomatic relations,” the Ukrainian official said. “We are not rejecting the format of Normandy (talks), where the Russian president participated in the negotiating process.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko met in early June in France, where they arrived to attend celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the landing of Allied troops in Normandy during World War II in June 1944.

Their brief meeting, which lasted for about quarter of an hour, was held in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande. The Ukrainian and Russian leaders discussed ways of putting an end to the military conflict in the southeast of Ukraine.

Following the meeting, Putin’s spokesman Dmitray Peskov said both leaders had agreed that the drastic situation in Ukraine must be resolved solely by peaceful and diplomatic means.

Troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes as the Ukrainian armed forces are conducting a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their independence at local referendums.

During its military operation conducted since mid-April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. According to Ukraine’s Health Ministry, up to 480 civilians have been killed and over 1,400 wounded in the armed stand-off. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled southeast.

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