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Putin says no Russian troops on Ukrainian border, urges talks

English.news.cn   2014-05-07 22:41:26

MOSCOW, May 7 (Xinhua) -- President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday there were no Russian troops left on the Ukrainian border.

"We pulled them (troops) back. They no longer stay on the Ukrainian border but are in their bases and at training ranges," Putin said after meeting Didier Burkhalter, chairperson-in-office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

"This can be easily verified with modern means of reconnaissance. Everything can be seen," he added.

Putin argued that Russia should not be seen as a party in the ongoing Ukrainian conflicts, saying "the parties are inside Ukraine."

"As soon as our colleagues in Europe or the United States drive one situation or another into a blind alley, they always say that now the key to resolving the problem lies in the hands of Moscow and it bears the entire responsibility," the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

The president demanded Kiev authorities "immediately halt all military punitive operations in the southeastern regions of Ukraine."

Russia has also called on representatives of Ukraine's southeastern regions to postpone the referendum scheduled for May 11, in a bid for them "to create necessary conditions for dialogue" with Kiev.

Speaking of the Ukrainian presidential elections due on May 25, Putin said it was a step in the right direction, but one that "will solve nothing unless all Ukrainian citizens understand the way their rights will be guaranteed."

Burkhalter, who is also president of Switzerland, said there were so far no plans to hold another round of Geneva talks on Ukraine to analyze the fulfillment of earlier agreements.

Rather, he said, the OSCE was mulling a four-item action plan offered for consideration to the four signatories to the Geneva agreements on April 17, so as "to know which items were points of consent and which might need adjustment for their soonest implementation."

The OSCE also offered to set up a fund to finance the implementation of a proposed disarmament plan in Ukraine, the official said, adding the bloc would send up to 1,000 observers to the Ukrainian presidential polls.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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