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Poroshenko Says Military Solution to East Ukraine Conflict Nonexistent

© Sputnik / Mikhail PalinchakPetro Poroshenko said there is no military solution to the Ukrainian crisis
Petro Poroshenko said there is no military solution to the Ukrainian crisis - Sputnik International
The Ukrainian president added it was necessary to continue dialogue with Russia and said he holds telephone talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, about once every two weeks.

MOSCOW, January 21 (Sputnik) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes there cannot be a military solution to the ongoing conflict in the country's east, he told reporters in a recent interview with Western media.

Speaking to a small group of Western journalists, the Ukrainian president assured the press it was his strong belief that a "simple military solution of this conflict" does not exist.

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Poroshenko maintained that Russian troops were involved in the fighting that has claimed more than 4,800 lives and wounded over 10,000 people. However, no evidence of this has been presented so far.

The president added it was necessary to continue dialogue with Russia and said he holds telephone talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, about once every two weeks.

Poroshenko alleged that sanctions against Russia helped Kiev break the ice with Moscow and bring it to the negotiating table.

"The most important thing is that sanctions [are] working," the president said, adding that restrictions were "not just bringing some problems to Russia," but is "an instrument" keeping it at the negotiating table.

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Poroshenko was talking to journalists exactly four months after parties involved in the conflict in Ukraine's eastern provinces agreed on a road map for lasting peace. The deal was signed on September 19 in the Belarusian capital Minsk, with the mediation of representatives from Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The Ukrainian also president claimed, "The Minsk agreement, actually, is my peace plan," despite militias in the east frequently accusing the government in Kiev of violating the truce.

The past few days have seen fierce clashes between the army and militia forces over the control of a crucial airport in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic. The fighting marked a surged in violence that erupted in Ukraine after Kiev launched a military campaign in April to crack down on protesters who opposed the country's new government.

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