News / Europe

Putin Accuses Ukraine Leader of Shunning Road to Peace

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a meeting with Russian ambassadors, envoys and diplomats at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow, July 1, 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a meeting with Russian ambassadors, envoys and diplomats at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow, July 1, 2014.
VOA News

Russia’s president heaped criticism on Ukraine’s leader for ending a cease-fire in the ongoing stand-off between Ukrainian forces and  pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Speaking in Moscow, Vladimir Putin said that he and his “European colleagues” tried unsuccessfully to persuade Petro Poroshenko to extend the truce, referring to discussions he and the Ukrainian leader had by telephone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

“Unfortunately President Poroshenko took the decision to restart military operations and we - I mean myself and my European colleagues - could not convince him that the road to stable, strong and long-lasting peace does not lie through war,” said Putin Tuesday before a gathering of Russian diplomats.

The German and French leaders did reportedly press for an extension of the truce, but Poroshenko is seen to have made his decision largely under internal pressure. On Sunday, thousands of Ukrainians rallied before his office in Kyiv demanding an end to the cease-fire he had announced nine days earlier in hopes of getting separatist rebels to disarm, return seized border posts and hold peace talks.

Some of the rebels heeded the truce but it quickly fell apart. According to Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, 27 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 69 wounded while the ceasefire was in force.

Poroshenko said in an early morning statement Tuesday that Ukraine had not seen "concrete steps [on Russia’s part] for de-escalating the situation, including strengthening controls on the border."

Both Kyiv and the West accuse Moscow of supporting the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine with fighters and military hardware, a charge Moscow denies.
 
In his speech, Putin attributed the roots of tensions in eastern Ukraine to the alleged suppression of rights of ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers, the same pretext he used to justify Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in March.

“In Ukraine, as you saw, our compatriots found themselves threatened, Russian people and people of other nationalities, their language, history, culture, legal rights - guaranteed, supposedly, by European conventions,” said Putin.

Citing the Crimean scenario, Putin said Russia had been given no alternatives.

“What kind of reaction did our partners expect from us when events unfolded in Ukraine? We certainly had no right to leave Crimeans or the people of Sevastopol (base of Russia's Black Sea Fleet) at the mercy of militant nationalists and radicals,” said Putin using terms frequently wielded by Russian officials and media outlets when describing Ukrainians aligned with the government in Kyiv.

Had Russia not acted, Putin said, “fairly soon, I think, we would have seen NATO troops arrive.”

Speaking about broader geopolitical tensions, Putin seemed to blame them on a general disintegration of international order.

“There is growing potential for conflict, seriously exacerbated by old and newly provoked contradictions.... Unfortunately, we see that international law does not work, basic norms of decency are not met, and that lawlessness triumphs,” said Putin.

Putin made no direct references to the United States but cautioned in general against “meddling in the affairs of sovereign states….”

Referring to conflicts in other parts of the world, he called for steps toward their containment.

“We need some kind of safety net around all of Europe so that the Iraqi, Libyan, Syrian - and unfortunately we have to mention the Ukrainian - scenarios do not become a contagious disease,” Putin said.

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 01, 2014 1:26 PM
Contagion...? Putin should beware! Seems he's beginning to see the western double-speak in action. He must understand western fears about Russia for its former link with USSR. The mind in the west is to try use war to further disintegrate and destabilize Russia, but who to start, who's to lead the front, is what is deterring the action for now. Do you wonder why a group that feigned war-weariness to go to Syria in the face of gross human rights violations - even to the use of chemical weapons against civilian targets - quickly mobilized fleets and flotillas to the black sea immediately it was hinted that Russian forces were involved in the Ukrainian crises?

While the world knows and respects Russian military abilities at war, especially of the magnitude surrounded by western Europe and America from a long range, it is also something of prudence to thread carefully to avoid falling into the trap of the allied forces of Europe and America that can see Russia overwhelmed or taken unawares. This does not however preclude helping hand for the Russians of east Ukraine whom the insensitive pro-west government of Petro Poroshenko may not care a hoot to slaughter overnight if left on their own. Russia should be prepared to take a greater action against a gathering cloud of western threat while making moves to save its own from terror from Kiev.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid