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Don't Issue Ultimatums to Putin, Kremlin Warns

Russia's President Vladimir Putin listens to German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting on resolving the Ukraine crisis at the Kremlin in Moscow on Feb. 6, 2015.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be spoken to in the language of ultimatums at talks on the Ukraine crisis, a Russian radio station quoted the Kremlin as saying Monday.

In comments to Govorit Moskva (Moscow Speaks) radio, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed media speculation that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had issued Putin an ultimatum in an attempt to secure a breakthrough in the crisis.

"Nobody has ever talked to the president in the tone of an ultimatum — and could not do so even if they wanted to," Peskov was quoted as saying.

Merkel and French President Francois Hollande had five hours of talks with Putin in Moscow on Friday.

They agreed in a phone call with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko two days later that all four would meet in the Belarussian city of Minsk on Wednesday to try to end about 10 months of fighting in east Ukraine.

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