Putin tells Merkel escalating conflict brings Ukraine to verge of civil war

The sharp escalation of the Ukrainian conflict brings Ukraine to the verge of a civil war, Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on the phone.

The sharp escalation of the Ukrainian conflict brings Ukraine to the verge of a civil war, Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel on the phone.

The German side initiated the telephone conversation, the Kremlin press service said. Putin and Merkel "exchanged opinions about the anti-constitutional course of the incumbent Kiev authorities towards the suppression by force of popular protests in southeastern Ukraine," the presidential press service said.

The irresponsible policy of the incumbent Ukrainian authorities has led to the escalation of the crisis in southeastern Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the phone later.

"The Russian president noted that the sharp escalation of the crisis resulted from the irresponsible policy of Kiev, which had been ignoring the lawful rights and interests of Russian-speaking residents of the country. He stressed the impressibility of the regime's use of the Armed Forces to suppress protests of the civilian population of southeastern Ukraine," said the Kremlin press service.

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