UK & World News

  • 2 June 2014, 17:57

PM And Putin To Meet Over Ukraine Violence

Prime Minister David Cameron will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday to discuss the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Downing Street confirmed the plan as the Kremlin announced it will submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council demanding an end to violence in the country.

The Prime Minister will sit down with Mr Putin after the two leaders attend commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy on Friday.

The talks will take place the day after Mr Cameron, US President Barack Obama and other G7 leaders meet in Brussels for a summit at which Russia's annexation of Crimea and the ongoing hostilities in the east of Ukraine will be high on the agenda.

The meeting was hastily arranged after they decided to boycott a planned summit of the G8 - which includes Russia - that Mr Putin was due to host in Sochi this week.

It also comes amid heightened between Russia and Britain after Prince Charles reportedly compared Mr Putin to the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler over his actions in Ukraine.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman dismissed suggestions that Friday's talks with Mr Putin were an attempt to "make peace" with him.

He said Mr Cameron would "restate our very clear and unchanged position on the Crimea which is we do not recognise the annexation".

Mr Cameron is also due to meet Ukraine's newly elected president Petro Poroshenko at the D-Day commemorations. Mr Poroshenko has vowed to rid eastern Ukraine of insurgents and restore calm to the region.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces killed five rebels while repelling an attack by hundreds of pro-Russian gunmen on a federal border guard camp in the east on Monday, Kiev officials said.

The border guard service said seven of its servicemen were wounded when "around 500 terrorists" attacked one of its units stationed outside the industrial city of Luhansk.

The rebels are "not only using mortar, grenade launchers and machine guns, but also firing from residential apartments and rooftops, using civilians as human shields," the border guard service said in a statement.

A spokesman for Ukraine's self-proclaimed "anti-terrorist operation" said the border guards eventually received air cover from fighter bombers that managed to destroy "two mortar crews of militants".

Video footage showed a building within the camp compound on fire.

"After the aircraft returned to base, we received information that fighting around the Luhansk border unit resumed," Vladyslav Seleznyov told Kiev's ICTV television.

Ukraine's defence ministry said on Friday the seven-week eastern insurgency had claimed the lives of 49 Ukrainian servicemen and 128 civilians and separatists.

Russia has accused Ukraine of breaching the 1949 Geneva Conventions protecting civilians in wartime by killing peaceful citizens.

It piled further diplomatic pressure on Kiev by announcing it would submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on Monday demanding an immediate end to fighting and the creation of a corridor that would allow civilians to escape affected areas.

Ukraine has previously rejected the need for such an "aid corridor" for fear that Russia might want to send in troops to supervise the evacuation.

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