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>> Is Vladimir Putin about to send troops into Eastern Ukraine? He stirred fears of military action in Kiev, citing a plot to attack Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. The international communitie's response then was economic sanctions. Reuters' Deputy Bureau Chief in Moscow, Andrew Osborn, asks if that's Russia's real target now.
>> What's important for Mr. Putin here, above all perhaps, is the issue of sanctions on Russia, which United States and European Union imposed on Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis. Mr. Putin wants those sanctions lifted, they're hurting Russia's economy, which is already suffering because of an economic crisis caused by oil, low oil prices and the sanctions.
This now could be a moment when he could argue that the peace process needs to be changed. And that in turn, would perhaps give him an opportunity to try to persuade the European Union at least, that it might be time to at least ease these sanctions, if not lift them altogether.
That's certainly what Mr. Putin wants.>> Kiev says Russian claims it thwarted the Ukrainian plot to attack Crimea is a fabrication. Russia says it's ready to reveal more evidence. A war or words accompanied by troop movements, putting all of the ingredients of another conflict in place. But on a conciliatory note, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov saying Monday, there's no desire to cut diplomatic ties between Moscow and Kiev.