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Ukraine leader says he is 'ready' for peace deal with Russia

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech to the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg on June 26, 2014Ukraine’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. President Petro Poroshenko’s decision to extend an olive branch to the Russian strongman came just a day before he signs the final chapters of a historic EU agreement that nudges his country toward eventual membership and pulls it firmly out of Moscow’s reach. 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. “I am ready to make peace with anybody,” Poroshenko said in an interview aired late Thursday by CNN.

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