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Russia-Ukraine Talks to Start as Poroshenko Seeks Peace

• By Daryna Krasnolutska and Kateryna Choursina

Poroshenko, switching between languages to address Russian speakers in their mother tongue, pledged to "preserve and strengthen Ukrainian unity and ensure lasting peace" in the country ravaged by separatist violence. The billionaire, who said he became a grandfather for the first time yesterday, vowed to steer the former Soviet republic toward closer ties with the European Union, create jobs and stamp out corruption.

"I know that peace is the most important thing that Ukrainian people desire now," Poroshenko, 48, said yesterday in parliament in Kiev.

Poroshenko took the oath of office as Ukraine's president yesterday, a day after he discussed with Putin his proposals for the first steps toward a cease-fire. In his inauguration speech, he presented a plan to bring peace to the nation after more than six months of unrest that's pitted the U.S. and Europe against Russia in the worst standoff since the Cold War.

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