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Putin, Yanukovych Meet On Sidelines Of Olympics

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (left) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. (left)
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (left) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. (left)
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych has returned to Kyiv after holding crisis talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi.

Neither Ukrainian nor Russian spokespeople provided details of the two leaders' talks late on February 7 except to say they were brief and held at Sochi's Fisht stadium where the games' opening ceremony was held.

Yanukovych had been expected to discuss with Putin the fate of a $15 billion Russian bailout whose delivery has been effectively frozen pending Yanukovych's decision on a new government.

Ukraine was thrown into its worst crisis since independence when Yanukovych in November reversed plans to sign an association pact with European Union -- a decision Brussels says was taken under Russian pressure.

The reversal sparked violent protests that have claimed several lives.

Earlier, Vladimir Putin met in Sochi with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss political issues.

ALSO READ: Putin Declares Winter Olympics Officially Open

During meeting on the night of February 6, the two presidents talked about the political crisis in Ukraine.

Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said both presidents condemned outside interference amid Ukraine's current unrest, a thinly veiled reference to Western diplomatic efforts there.

Xi also told Putin that Russia and China should continue cooperating to find a solution to the Syrian conflict.

Chinese state media report that Xi and Putin also had a video conference call with commanders of Russian and Chinese navy ships escorting Dutch and Norwegian vessels that are transporting chemical weapons turned over by Syria.

Xi also attended the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sochi on February 7

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, Interfax, and RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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