Kremlin ridicules calls for Russia-Ukraine talks with Western mediation

MOSCOW, March 7 Fri Mar 7, 2014 12:53pm EST

MOSCOW, March 7 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman on Friday ridiculed calls for talks between Russia and Ukraine with Western mediation, saying Western countries' actions during the crisis in Ukraine had cost them their credibility, Russian news agencies reported.

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, also said Russia feared there would be ethnic persecution in Crimea and eastern Ukraine if "those who stood behind the coup in Kiev" reached those regions, the reports said.

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