Mr. Putin, pictured above, told a news conference at the Kremlin Wednesday that Russia had withdrawn its troops from along the border and that he had asked separatists to drop plans for a referendum on sovereignty this Sunday.
Russia would even accept Ukraine’s presidential election on May 25, he said, if demands for autonomy from the country’s east were recognized. He claimed he wanted to spur mediation efforts led by Europeans, in particular a suggestion from Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany that the factions engage in a round-table discussion.
NATO and the US said there is no evidence Putin has pulled back troops.
NPR reported that Germany’s foreign minister says Russian President Vladimir Putin’s newly “constructive tone” could provide new momentum for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Thursday “we are now at perhaps a decisive point” following Putin’s meeting Wednesday with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, whose country chairs the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Pro-Russia separatists in Donetsk’s People’s Republic and separatists from Luhansk in East Ukraine, undoubtedly acting under the direction of Vladimir Putin, will go ahead with a referendum Sunday to begin dissolving their connection to Ukraine and form a separate entity which will then join with Russia.
CNN said that the separatists were: “…defying a call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone the vote.
CNN continued: “Putin had urged the pro-Russia sympathizers to delay the May 11 referendum in order to give dialogue “the conditions it needs to have a chance.”
Really CNN? You’re falling for that? This is why no one is watching CNN these days, unless of course they want to see what is happening with Flight MH370.