Ukraine PM accuses Putin of seeking to 'eliminate' country
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Saturday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of wanting to wipe out Ukraine as an independent country despite a truce deal.
"His aim is not just to take Donetsk and Lugansk," Yatsenyuk said at a conference in Kiev, referring to the separatist regions in eastern Ukraine where fighting has been raging for five months.
"His goal is to take the entire Ukraine... he wants to eliminate Ukraine as an independent country," Yatsenyuk said in English.
He described the truce signed on September 5 in Minsk between Kiev, pro-Russian rebels and Moscow and the European security body the OSCE after five months of conflict in eastern Ukraine as just a "first step" to "stop a massacre".
He said that having a bilateral accord with Russia was "not the best" idea and called on the United States and the European Union to play a direct role in peace talks and to guarantee Ukraine's sovereignty and independence.
"They (the Russians) will outplay us," he said. "Putin wants to get another frozen conflict and get his hands on our belly fat."
© 2014 AFP