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We'll dialogue with Ukraine's new president -Russia

By The Citizen
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Russia says it is 'open to dialogue' with the new president of Ukraine, as initial results suggested Petro Poroshenko would win its election.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said military action must end against separatists in the east.

Poroshenko said he would meet Russian leaders soon but vowed to take a tough line on any armed separatists.

Unrest continues in the east, with pro-Russia militiamen halting flights at Donetsk airport.

Heavy gunfire is now reported there, with thick black smoke rising from the area. Military aircraft have been seen overhead.

Meanwhile election observers said Sunday's vote was a genuine one that largely met international standards.

The mission from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe also said it gave the new president 'legitimacy' to open a dialogue with separatists in the east.

Lavrov told a press conference in Moscow: 'We are ready for dialogue with Kiev's representatives, with Petro Poroshenko.'

Lavrov said EU and US mediation were not needed, but warned Kiev that continuing military operations against the separatists would be a 'colossal mistake. BBC