MOSCOW, May 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the situation in Ukraine in a phone conversation with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Tuesday, calling for an end to violence in the crisis-hit country, the Kremlin said Tuesday.
During the phone conversation, Putin expressed condolences to the Italian prime minister for the death of an Italian journalist in Ukraine, and called for an immediate halt of violence in southeastern Ukraine.
"The leaders of the two countries have exchanged opinions on the situation in Ukraine over the results of the presidential election that was held May 25," the Kremlin said in a statement.
The statement said that Putin had stressed the necessity to stop the punitive operation in southeastern Ukraine and to establish peaceful dialogue between Kiev and the regions.
Italian photographer Andrea Rocchelli and his interpreter Andrei Mironov were killed by mortar fire on the eve of Sunday’s presidential elections near the eastern city of Slaviansk. According to media reports, a group of foreign reporters came under mortar fire in the village of Andreyevka, in the city outskirts. French photographer William Roguelon was injured in the same incident.
Billionaire businessmen Petro Poroshenko has been declared the provisional victor in the election with over 95 percent of ballots counted. He will take over the post from President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the country during a series of violent protests which led to his unconstitutional overthrow on February 22.
Voting took place in a total of 189 constituencies of Ukraine amid a large-scale military operation launched by the new Kiev authorities to crack down on protesters refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the government. Twenty-one candidates ran in the race.
Moscow has said it is ready for dialogue with Poroshenko.