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June 26, 2014 09:38

Russian leader's press secretary says it is time to hope for prolonged ceasefire in Ukraine

MOSCOW. June 26 (Interfax) - The Russian president's press secretary Dmitry Peskov believes that today there is a need to focus on the chance of prolonging the declared ceasefire in Ukraine instead of discussing Russia's possible steps, should the bloodshed continue in Ukraine's southeastern regions.

"Now it is a bad time to discuss this [what Russia could do next if the bloodshed continued in southeastern Ukraine]. Today it is time to be hopeful that the sides in the Ukrainian conflict will heed the call to promote the ceasefire that was made by the president yesterday," Peskov said in an interview published by the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper on Thursday.

The press secretary said that the Russian president had asked the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the country's parliament, to revoke permission to use the Russian Armed Forces in Ukraine.

"This decision should help normalize the situation in the southeast of Ukraine, as well as help Ukraine resolve this inter-Ukrainian crisis," he added.

The president's decision "actually stems from the way the situation has been evolving there," Peskov said.

At the same time, Russia remains consistent in its care for ethnic Russians living abroad, Peskov said.

"Russia will consistently protect their interests, especially in places where ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking people face some security threats," he said.

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(Our editorial staff can be reached at eng.editors@interfax.ru)

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