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Poroshenko Blasts Putin Claim New Ukrainian President Needed To Negotiate Peace

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he doesn't expect any progress toward establishing peace in eastern Ukraine until after Ukrainian elections, which he said he hopes will produce a new president next year.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's office blasted Putin's statement on November 15, saying the Russian president is "meddling" in the Ukrainian presidential contest even before it has started.

Speaking at a news conference in Singapore, Putin said efforts by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine -- the so-called Normandy Four -- to press for progress carrying out a peace plan forged in the Belarusian capital in 2015 would be "pointless" for the time being.

Putin said he hopes a new presidential administration in Kyiv next year will dedicate itself to peacefully resolving the conflict between the government and Moscow-backed separatists that has killed more than 10,300 people since 2014.

"The current Ukrainian authorities have not shown any desire to implement the Minsk agreements -- they are not doing anything to implement them, nothing is happening," Putin said, claiming that as long as Poroshenko's administration remains in power "a peaceful resolution of issues in these territories can hardly be counted on."

Ukrainian presidential press secretary Sviatoslav Tseholko wrote on Facebook that Poroshenko wants a peaceful settlement in eastern Ukraine, but "will never agree on peace on the terms of an aggressor country."

Kyiv and Western governments accuse Russia of providing arms and troops to help the Ukrainian separatists, and say that Russia is not carrying out its part of the Minsk peace plan by withdrawing that support. The Kremlin denies the accusations.

With reporting by dpa and Interfax

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