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UN chief and Russia's Putin agree that Ukraine crisis can only be solved by political dialogue

The United Nations says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed that the crisis in Ukraine can only be resolved politically "through an inclusive political dialogue."

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Ban discussed Ukraine, Syria and other global challenges with Putin Tuesday on the sidelines of a two-day meeting on Asian security in Shanghai.

Dujarric said the secretary-general noted that upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine "are an opportunity to move forward towards long-term peace and stability in the country." He would not give Putin's response.

On Syria, Dujarric said, Ban and Putin "discussed opportunities for a long-overdue political solution and the urgent need to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation of millions of refugees and internally displaced persons." He gave no details.