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Russia not to be drawn into large-scale conflicts — Putin

Partners need to understand that it is better not to mess around with Russia, the Russian president said

“This is not happening and it is important to realize it and to force the Ukrainian authorities to start thorough negotiations, not only on technical issues, which are certainly of extreme importance, but on substantive (issues) as well,” Putin said.

According to the president, it is necessary to discuss what kind of rights Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics will have and the south-east of the Ukraine on the whole and after that to register everything in the form of laws.

“This is what must be discussed,” Putin said. “It is important to agree on the essence, but they refuse to agree on the essence and this is the problem.”

Federalization prospects for Ukraine

Russia will not interfere in the choice of a model for state development by Ukraine, Putin said, adding that he could not understand why the authorities in Kiev were opposing federalization of their country. "For some unclear reason, our Ukrainian partners feel so apprehensive of a federation but it's their choice anyway and we won't meddle with it by any means," Putin said.

On the face of it, he said he was confident of the importance of consolidating federalism in Russia. "It's a very important and meaningful element of our state system because it enables us to take a much better account of our citizens’ interests, as well as ethnic, historical, religious, and cultural specificity regardless of where they live,” Putin said.

There is a big enough number of countries that have a federated state structure - Russia, the US, Brazil, Germany, and some others, he indicated.