Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech to the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg, eastern France, on June 26, 2014.AFP PHOTO / PATRICK HERTZOG
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Ukraine's new Western-backed leader said on Thursday he was ready to make a peace deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin that could end a separatist insurgency convulsing his ex-Soviet state.The EU accord lies at the heart of a conflict on the eastern edge of Europe that pits the Kremlin against Western powers and ethnic Russians against Ukrainian speakers in the splintered but strategic nation of 46 million.Putin is strongly suspected of orchestrating the Ukrainian uprising after having seized its Crimea peninsula in reprisal for the February ouster in Kiev of a Moscow-backed president.Kerry added that sanctions would be also discussed by EU leaders after they sign the Association Agreement with Ukraine that the old regime rejected at what proved to be its own cost.Russia counters that only an outright switch to a federal system in which regions can adopt their own foreign trade policies could work in a country as culturally divided as Ukraine.
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