DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — A Kremlin statement today urging dialogue is also being seen as a signal that Russia has no immediate intention to annex the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces, like it did with Crimea, despite referendums backing sovereignty.

The Kremlin says there should be talks between the Ukrainian government and representatives of the eastern part of the country following the controversial referendums.

The cautious stance appears to reflect Russian President Vladimir Putin's hope to negotiate a solution to what has become the worst crisis between Russia and the West since the Cold War. The Kremlin also urged the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to help broker talks.

Ukraine's central government and the West have condemned the balloting as a sham and accused Moscow of fomenting the unrest.

The Kremlin criticized Kiev for trying to thwart the balloting by using weapons against civilians.

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