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Russian President Vladimir Putin has long wanted a Eurasian Union of former Soviet satellite states to act as a counterweight to the European Union. Embattled Ukraine has been at the centre of that objective.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has long wanted a Eurasian Union of former Soviet satellite states to act as a counterweight to the European Union. Embattled Ukraine has been at the centre of that objective.
(Yuri Kadobnov/AP)

Putin tells world leaders he is interested in ‘diplomatic solution’ in Crimea

Ukrainians are bracing for a tumultuous week as the country moves closer to the prospect of Crimea joining Russia and world leaders scramble to find a solution to the crisis.

A series of phone calls on Sunday involving several leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, did little to ease the tension in Ukraine. Mr. Putin insisted that his government has a legitimate interest in protecting the majority Russian-speaking population in Crimea and he endorsed a referendum the territory is holding this week on whether it should become part of Russia.