BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine and Russia should have direct dialogue and consultation, rather than wars, in order to solve the current Crimea crisis, Ukrainian Ambassador to China Oleg Dyomin told Xinhua Wednesday.
Dyomin, who came to China in 2013, said Russia is an important cooperative partner of Ukraine, and Kiev hopes to conduct direct talks with Moscow.
"Wars should be avoided in solving the simmering tensions in Crimea, the center of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine," he said in Russian through a Chinese interpreter, adding that all the problems could be solved through dialogue and consultation.
Commenting on the March 16 referendum in Crimea on whether to join Russia or remain part of Ukraine as an autonomous region, the ambassador denounced the legality of the planned referendum.
"The activity can only be called a social survey rather than a referendum," he said, adding that the Crimean government does not have the full list of its citizens in that region, which is in the hands of Kiev.
He said the current Ukrainian government has expressed its willingness to conduct peaceful dialogue with the regional Crimean government as soon as possible, and would grant greater autonomy to the local government.
The Ukraine crisis, which originated from protests against former President Viktor Yanukovych's decision last November to abandon an association agreement with the European Union in exchange for Russian aid, took an abrupt turn in February following bloody clashes between protesters and police. Yanukovych was ousted and forced to flee Kiev.
Crimea, host to Russia's Black Sea Fleet, has been at the epicenter of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine since Yanukovych was ousted by parliament on Feb. 22.
In order to peacefully solve the current crisis, the ambassador said, Ukraine needs support from major world players.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday in a phone talk with U.S. President Barack Obama that Beijing is willing to keep in touch with relevant parties on the issue and hopes all parties concerned would tackle their differences through communication and coordination.