CHELYABINSK, Russia Aug 31 President Vladimir
Putin's spokesman said on Sunday that areas of eastern Ukraine
where pro-Russian separatists are fighting Kiev government
forces should remain part of the country and he called the
conflict a domestic one.
Dmitry Peskov was speaking after Putin was quoted by Russian
media as calling for meaningful talks between the separatists
and Kiev on issues including "society's political organisation
and statehood in southeastern Ukraine to protect legitimate
interests of people living there".
"This is not a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, this is a
domestic Ukrainian conflict," Peskov told reporters. Asked if
"Novorossiya" - the name the rebels give to the region in
dispute - should remain part of Ukraine, he said: "Of course."
(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Writing by Katya Golubkova;
Editing by Mark Heinrich)