Putin defiant in phone talks with Merkel, Cameron

Putin defiant in phone talks with Merkel, Cameron


 German and British leaders urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold a dialogue with Ukraine’s interim government during separate telephone conversations on Sunday.

But the leaders failed to narrow their differences over the upcoming referendum in Ukraine’s southern region of Crimea.
The German government says Chancellor Angela Merkel told Putin that the referendum planned for March 16th on Crimea’s joining Russia violates Ukraine’s constitution and international law.

The Russian presidential office says Putin stressed that the vote is based on international law and is intended to defend the legitimate interests of Crimean residents.

Merkel also regretted there had not been any progress on forming an international contact group that could lay the groundwork for direct talks between Russian and Ukrainian leaders.

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office also called for the establishment of the contact group.

In response, Putin said he would discuss the matter with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday.

Source: NHK