Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he will not talk with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko until Kyiv halts its military operation against separatists in the east of Ukraine.
The Kremlin also warned Ukraine’s new leader that efforts to put down the pro-Russian rebels would backfire.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: ‘‘If Petro Poroshenko, before his inauguration, wants to use heavy weapons and the National Guard and the Right Sector and such to oppress the resistance in the southeast, and if Poroshenko tries to enter Donbass as a victor, this will hardly create welcoming conditions for him in the Donetsk region.’‘
Poroshenko has indicated that he wants a robust and quick end to the military operation in the east and has also talked about building fences with Moscow.
However, the new Ukrainian president has also described the separatists as “Somali pirates”, saying force should be used against “killers and terrorists”.