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Vladimir Putin: Crimea peace is Russia's plan

JOE CHURCHER

RUSSIA wants to find a peaceful resolution to the Crimea crisis, Vladimir Putin has told David Cameron in a telephone conversation, Downing Street has said.

Mr Cameron called the Kremlin as world leaders joined a fresh round of efforts to persuade Moscow to pull back from its incursion into the Ukrainian territory.

Number 10 said the president "did want to find a diplomatic solution" and was ready to consider the setting up of a contact group to facilitate dialogue with the new government in Ukraine.

Moscow has so far ignored the threat of American and European sanctions. The Duma has endorsed a decision by Crimea's parliament to become a part of Russia subject to approval of a March 16 referendum.

Mr Cameron's call came as William Hague said the occupation of Crimea would prove a "big miscalculation" by Moscow in the long-term.

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