Russian, UN leaders see political dialog as only solution for Ukraine

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the crisis in Ukraine during their meeting in Shanghai Tuesday and agreed that the political crisis in the country can be settled only through peaceful means. The sides “agreed that the crisis can only be resolved politically and through an inclusive political dialogue,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

“The Secretary-General noted that the forthcoming presidential elections are an opportunity to move forward towards long-term peace and stability in the country,” the spokesman said. Putin and Ban also exchanged views on the crisis in Syria, including “opportunities for a long-overdue political solution and the urgent need to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation of millions of refugees and internally displaced persons.”

Early presidential elections were scheduled in Ukraine after legitimate president Victor Yanukovich was ousted late February following the so-called Euromaidan mass rallies in Kiev. Citizens of mainly Russian-speaking southeast of Ukraine refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the country’s interim government and held referendums on self-determination on May 11.

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