MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has acknowledged that he is not taking calls from the Ukrainian leader.
The long-simmering conflict between Russia and Ukraine burst into open on Nov. 25 when the Russian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews off the Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that he tried to reach Putin on the phone while the crisis was unfolding but that Putin was ignoring his calls.
Putin on Wednesday confirmed that he has been refusing to take Poroshenko's calls and blamed him for fueling the latest crisis to score political points. Putin said in comments to Russian news agencies that he is not unwilling to talk to Poroshenko but he is "unwilling to take part in his election campaign."