Putin says Ukraine has not shown interest in serious dialogue

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Putin says Ukraine has not shown interest in serious dialogue

The Russian president said Kiev did not show interest in serious and meaningful dialogue.

The peace talks between Russia and Ukraine have been suspended by Kiev, President Vladimir Putin has said. He made remarks on Saturday during a phone call with his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto.

The discussion focused on Finland's push for NATO membership, which has been revived amid the Ukrainian crisis. According to the Finnish president's office, Niinisto told Putin that his country is about to make a decision on joining the US military bloc within a few days.

Vladimir Putin shared his assessment of the state of the negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian representatives, which has been suspended by Kiev, which has not shown interest in a serious and meaningful dialogue, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin warned that Helsinki's move to abandon its traditional policy of military neutrality would be a mistake, stressing that there were no threats to Finland's security. He outlined that the move could have a negative impact on mutually beneficial relations between the two countries.

Finland's neighbor Sweden is considering a NATO membership, and could lodge its application as early as Monday, according to local media reports.

Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, after Kiev failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied that it plans to retake the two republics by force.