Ukraine's Poroshenko talks tough ahead of meetings with Merkel, Putin




 
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August 21st, 2014  
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Topic: Ukraine's Poroshenko talks tough ahead of meetings with Merkel, Putin


By Richard Balmforth KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday he would call on Russian President Vladimir Putin to rein in pro-Russian separatists when the two men meet next week and told the Kremlin chief he had "a strong country, a strong army" behind him. Poroshenko spoke as government forces, despite taking heavy losses themselves, thrust deeper into rebel-held territory in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east and kept the separatists whom they have battled since April on the back foot. The Ukrainian battlefield successes, after a faltering start in April when government forces were humiliated, have alarmed some Western governments who fear they could box Putin dangerously into a corner with no way out to save face. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to visit Kiev on Saturday to show her support for Poroshenko - but diplomats say she is also bearing a message that he should consider calling a ceasefire so as not to incur a backlash from Putin.




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