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Obama warns Putin ahead of Ukraine peace talks


Washington: US President Barack Obama has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country will face greater costs if the “aggressive actions” against Ukraine is still continued.
Mr Obama has expressed expectation that his Russian counterpart would use the opportunity ideally and find a peaceful solution to the war that has been going on since April last year.
Mr Putin is scheduled to meet the leaders of France, Germany and Ukraine in a summit to be held at Belarus.
However, intense fighting has been reported from eastern Ukraine ahead of the peace talks.
Meanwhile, four soldiers and eight civilians are said to have killed in rocket attack on a key military base and a residential area in Kramatorsk.
According to Government officials, the rocket attacks might be from areas controlled by the extremists while separatists have denied the accusation of the attack.
More than 5,400 people are said to have died since the beginning of the conflict while civilian casualties are reported to have risen in recent weeks.
Ukraine and the Western countries have accused Russia of sending troops and arms to support the rebels which Russia has denied totally.
The summit in the Belarus capital Minsk is expected to focus on securing a ceasefire together with the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the controversial areas.
There are also possibilities to treat the region as a demilitarized zone.
Russian sources have pointed out that the senior officials from the four countries have agreed a ceasefire status ahead of the meeting.


Video on Obama’s warning against Ukraine