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    Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia June 7, 2019

    Putin Says Moscow to Restore Ties With Kiev Regardless of Relations With Ukrainian Elites

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia will restore its ties with Ukraine regardless of its relations with the neighbouring country’s elites, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Mir broadcaster, released on Thursday.

    "It is unavoidable that we will restore our relations — [otherwise, the situation] between parts one people or between two brotherly peoples is impossible — regardless of the way our relations with [Ukrainian] elites develop. I mean, even the political elites of the past; let us say, those who consider personal success, personal benefit and preservation of their funds, gained on the backs of Ukrainians and kept somewhere abroad, to be the most important thing in their work and in their lives. I believe, this is where their love for the West comes from," Putin said.

    Russian President has also expressed hope that Ukraine's new leadership will be able to take action for improving its relations with Russia.

    "I hope that the new [Ukrainian] leadership lacks these limitations and feels free to rely on the trust given by Ukrainians to the newly-elected president [Zelensky] and energetically act toward restoring Ukraine-Russia relations and resolving internal issues," Putin said.

    "[I hope that the Ukrainian leadership] will not hide behind Russophobic stories and ideas on how to avoid internal Ukrainian issues, primarily, those facing the economy and the social sphere," Russian President said.


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