Putin will not accept ultimatums over Ukraine: Kremlin

Putin will not accept ultimatums over Ukraine: Kremlin
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia's President Vladimir Putin (C) and French President Francois Hollande attend a meeting on resolving the Ukraine crisis at the Kremlin in Moscow February 6, 2015.

MOSCOW - Russia said Monday that President Vladimir Putin would not tolerate any ultimatums over Ukraine after a report said Germany had given him until Wednesday to agree a peace plan or face new sanctions.

"We've already said everything about the tone of the negotiations," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Russian radio.

"No one has ever spoken or can speak to the president in an ultimatum-like tone much as one would like to."

The leaders of Ukraine, Germany and France are preparing for a summit with Putin in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Wednesday.

The meeting aims to end 10 months of bloodshed in eastern Ukraine as Washington mulls whether to arm government forces against pro-Russian separatists.

Putin warned on Sunday that he would go to the summit only if the leaders manage to agree on a "number of points" by Wednesday. He did not elaborate.

Putin hosted Merkel and Hollande for late-night talks in the Kremlin on Friday - the German chancellor's first visit to Russia since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis more than a year ago.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Merkel had given Putin until Wednesday to agree to a Franco-German peace plan for Ukraine, failing which Moscow faced further sanctions.

Merkel - who has publicly spoken out against supplying arms to Ukraine - also told Putin privately that she would not stand in the way of Washington sending arms to Ukraine, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited unidentified Western officials.

Merkel is to brief US President Barack Obama on her push for peace in Ukraine at a meeting Monday at the White House.


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