Pro-Russian separatists promised Thursday to consider Vladimir Putin’s call to delay their referendum on secession from Ukraine scheduled for the coming weekend. He also announced a military pullback from the Ukraine border, wich NATO has not confirmed. The coming presidential election could be a step in “the right direction,” Putin said, if it guaranteed the rights of all citizens. He made what he called these “goodwill gestures” after a phone conversation with Didier Burkhalter the Swiss president of the OSCE. Ukrainian interim prime minister Arseniy Yatseniuk dismissed them as “hot air.”