BERLIN: Ukrainian presidential candidate and self-made billionaire Petro Poroshenko defended the deployment of security forces against pro-Russian rebels, during a visit to Germany on Wednesday.
"For terrorists we should find the language they understand and that is force," he told reporters, after talks with a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.
"It is our strong purpose to restore law and order," he added.
The chocolate tycoon is one of two favourites to win crisis-racked Ukraine's planned presidential election on May 25.
The other is former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Both are ardent supporters of the pro-Western protesters who toppled Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych in February.
Diplomatic efforts have grown increasingly urgent after the deaths of nearly 90 people in less than a week as a result of military operations and clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Kiev supporters in eastern Ukraine.
The Western-backed government in Kiev has stepped up its military offensive to seize back a string of eastern towns and cities under the control of pro-Russian gunmen.
Poroshenko, who was due to meet Merkel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier later on Wednesday, said holding an election was "the only way out of the crisis".
And he described as "fake" a planned independence referendum on Sunday by pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine which has drawn parallels with a vote in Crimea that was annexed by Russia in March.
Merkel and US President Barack Obama in Washington last week warned Russia it would face direct and painful economic sanctions if the Ukrainian elections on May 25 are disrupted.