Ukraine president sees no military solution of crisis, backs autonomy for regions

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said on Friday there could be no military solution to the crisis in the east of his country and he reiterated his support for a measured decentralisation of power to the regions.

Ukrainian government forces have been battling pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine for more than five months in a conflict in which more than 3,000 people have been killed. The two sides have been broadly observing what Poroshenko described as a "very fragile but efficient" ceasefire since last Friday, despite sporadic violations.

"There is no military solution for this crisis ... To keep the country united we need some decentralisation of power," Poroshenko told a conference, adding that key issues of security and foreign policy must stay in the hands of central government.

(Reporting By Pavel Polityuk and Gareth Jones)