Updated  
March, 10 2014 12:15:26

Russia weighs Ukraine talks but won't budge on Crimea

KIEV — Diplomatic efforts to calm the Ukraine crisis inched forward on Monday, with Moscow saying it would consider Western proposals for talks on the standoff but insisting Crimea had the right to secede.

Britain said Russian President Vladimir Putin had promised to meet with his foreign minister on Monday to discuss the possibility of creating an "international contact group" – his first indication he may be willing to take part in the talks being pushed by the US and Germany to ease the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.

But that embryonic sign of diplomatic progress came against the backdrop of Putin's recognition on Sunday of Crimea's self-declared leaders as the breakaway peninsula's "legitimate" authorities.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel rebuked the Russian strongman for his comments, telling him Crimea's planned March 16 referendum on joining Russia was illegal.

In phone calls with Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron, Putin in turn accused Ukraine's new government of failing to rein in "ultra-nationalist and radical forces" in the movement that swept it to power after toppling pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych in three months of protests.

Defying Western condemnation of the referendum in Crimea, where Russia has seized de facto control, Putin said the Black Sea peninsula's pro-Russian authorities were acting "based on international law".

But Ukraine's new leadership got crucial backing as US President Barack Obama invited interim prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk to the White House on Wednesday, a meeting that will boost the credibility of the new government – still not recognised by Russia – and give the country a chance to iron out the details of crucial Western economic aid.

Ukraine could also sign a landmark agreement on closer ties with the European Union – the deal Yanukovych spurned, sparking the protests against him – as soon as March 17, the new government said. — AFP

Send Us Your Comments:
Name:
Your E-mail address:
Title:
 

VietNamNews may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.

Highlight

HCM City struggles to control influx of substandard produce 1    HCM City struggles to control influx of substandard produce

High demand for farm produce and the sheer variety of ways in which it is brought into HCM City from other localities makes quality control a very difficult task, officials say.

Hoi An hosts silken rendezvous Hoi An hosts silken rendezvous

Top craftsmen and women from seven silk villages in Viet Nam will participate in the Viet Nam Silk Culture Day at Hoi An city's Silk Village centre on December 28.

Local art smashes auction record Local art smashes auction record

Days after noted Vietnamese artist Le Pho's View from the Hilltop set a new auction record, art collector Nguyen Minh still has a lingering feeling of regret.

Long Bien Bridge preservation divides planners 2    Long Bien Bridge preservation divides planners

Architecture and cultural managers discussed Long Bien Bridge's future at a seminar held on Wednesday in Ha Noi.

Malaysia crush VN in AFF semis Malaysia crush VN in AFF semis

Viet Nam suffered a nightmare yesterday at My Dinh Stadium in Ha Noi as they were knocked out of the ASEAN Football Federation-Suzuki Cup.