The conversations continued discussion on the highly complex social and political situation unfolding in Ukraine and also issues concerning the organisation of a referendum in Crimea on March 16, 2014. Although the three leaders did express differences of opinion regarding the events taking place, they declared their common interest in de-escalating tension and returning the situation to normal as soon as possible.
Mr Putin noted, in particular, that the steps Crimea’s legitimate authorities are taking are in line with international law and seek to guarantee the lawful interests of the peninsula’s population. The Russian President also noted that the current authorities in Kiev have not taken any steps to rein in ultranationalist and radical forces in the Ukrainian capital and in many regions.
The three leaders exchanged views on possible international efforts to settle the crisis. They agreed to continue close working contacts, including at the foreign ministers’ level.