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Putin calls for compromise in Ukraine that respects rights of Russian-speakers in the east

  • Russia-WWII-Remembered

    Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside Moscow's Kremlin Wall, in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 22, 2014 to mark the 73rd anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • APTOPIX-Russia-WW-II-Remembered

    Russian Vladimir Putin, second right, takes part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside Moscow's Kremlin Wall, in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 22, 2014, to mark the 73rd anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Russia-WW-II-Remembered

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, takes part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside Moscow's Kremlin Wall, in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 22, 2014, to mark the 73rd anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Kremlin's Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov is on the left, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is on the right. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

    <ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged both sides in the Ukrainian conflict to sit down at the negotiating table and find a compromise.

He said such a compromise must guarantee the rights of Russian-speaking residents of eastern Ukraine, who must feel like they are “an integral part” of Ukraine.

Pro-Russian separatists battling Ukrainian troops have declared independence and asked to join Russia, but Moscow has rebuffed their appeals. Both Ukraine and the West, however, accuse Russia of supporting the insurgency.

Putin spoke today after laying a wreath during ceremonies commemorating the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

His comments followed a statement the night before in which he expressed support for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s decision to declare a cease-fire.

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