Ukraine Separatists Ask to Join Russia

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Kremlin Calls for Talks Between Government and Rebels, Putting Pressure on Kiev.

Separatist leaders in Ukraine’s volatile Donetsk region formally asked to become part of Russia on Monday, going beyond the simple independence question raised in a referendum and advancing the threat of Ukraine’s breakup.

The declaration bore some resemblance to the referendum and annexation scenario that played out in Crimea earlier this year, but signs of a different approach by Russia began to emerge.

Though the Kremlin expressed “respect” for the weekend referendums in Donetsk and the neighboring Luhansk region, the rebels’ subsequent request to join Russia was met with silence from the Kremlin and received little coverage by Russian state television.

… on Monday the Kremlin urged the new pro-Europe government in Kiev to hold talks with the rebels on implementing the votes’ outcome, even as both sides rejected calls to negotiate.

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