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The Kiev government provoked the latest escalation of violence in east Ukraine as it needs money from its Western partners, which is easier to achieve when a nation pretends to be a victim and facing aggression, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

“The Ukrainian leadership today needs money, and the best way to extort money is [to do that] from the European Union, from certain countries in Europe, from the United States and international institutions, presenting itself as a victim of aggression,” Putin said.

“As we know, the current Ukrainian government took a one-sided position to support one of the candidates during the election campaign in the US,” he said.

“What’s more, some [Ukrainian] oligarchs were even financing this candidate – or female candidate to be more precise – likely with approval from the government.

“Now they want to improve relations with the current administration and also using a conflict – it is always better, always more convenient, easier to draw in the new administration in solving the Ukrainian problems and thus establish some kind of dialogue.”
“The Ukrainian opposition has been more active amid clear [government] failures in the economic area and social policy,” Putin said.

“I think that the current Ukrainian leadership is not ready at all to apply the Minsk agreements and is looking for a reason to refuse their implementation.”

The Russian leader made the comments during a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest. (…read more…)

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban are holding a joint news conference following their talks in Budapest, Hungary. According to Putin’s top foreign policy aide, Yury Ushakov, talks are to focus on “developing economic ties” between the two countries.