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Putin Asks Parliament To Revoke Power To Use Force In Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Dieter Nagl
AFP/Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked his parliament to revoke his authorization to use force in Ukraine.

In a statement, the Kremlin said the move was intended "to help normalize the situation and achieve reconciliation in the east of Ukraine and in connection with the tri-partite negotiations on the issue that have begun recently."

The Washington Post reports Putin's request comes a day after a shaky cease-fire took effect in the east. The request, the paper adds, seems to signal that Russia is "trying to calm the situation as peace talks start between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists who have seized government buildings and cities in the country's east."

This whole conflict started after violent protests ended in the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. Putin asked for parliament's permission to use force in Ukraine in March and then seized upon the instability by annexing Crimea. Since then, the government in Kiev, and some of its international partners — including the U.S. — have worried that Russia is poised for further incursion into Ukrainian territory.

In fact, it was just a day ago that European foreign ministers were threatening Russia with further sanctions if it did not de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.

NPR's Corey Flintoff tells our Newscast unit that now that the cease-fire is in effect, Russia seems to be distancing itself from pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

"Parliament is controlled by Putin loyalists, and a senior lawmaker says the authority will be revoked tomorrow," Corey reports. "Russian stocks and the ruble both rose on the prospects that Russia might avoid economic sanctions."

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Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.