March 4, 2014

Tensions are getting hotter and tighter in Ukraine over Russia's ham-handed invasion of Crimea.


Petro Poroshenko, a Ukrainian parliamentarian who has been charged with leading negotiations with the new government of Crimea -- a disputed region thought to be threatened by a Russian takeover -- told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that "today we (had) the first sign of contact between our minister of defense and Russia's minister of defense," as well as talks involving other ministers.

"But it is not a negotiation, unfortunately," said Poroshenko, a billionaire businessman and former Ukrainian foreign minister. "We try to do our best to use any opportunity for peaceful negotiation. But ... we don't have any sign of hope ... from the Russian side."

Putin is hanging his hat on what he terms "a direct request from a legitimate president." Evidently he is the only person in the world who believes Viktor Yanukovych has any claim to power in Ukraine after his impeachment in a hastily-convened Parliament last week.

Poroshenko said ousted Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russia last week after months of public unrest against his government that ultimately boiled over into violence, has no legitimacy.

That includes having no right to ask Russia to send troops into Ukraine to restore him to what he feels is his rightful post as President, according to Poroshenko, who insisted only Parliament can invite foreign troops.

"His (political tenure) is finished, and he is a criminal," said Poroshenko, "especially after yesterday's appeal to have foreign troops come here and start a war."


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