Talks on ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine must discuss statehood for the region, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday, increasing Moscow's political demands for a resolution to the crisis.
"We need to immediately begin substantive talks ... on questions of the political organisation of society and statehood for southeastern Ukraine with the goal of protecting the lawful interests of the people who live there," Putin was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on a TV show broadcast in the far east of the country.
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