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Russia says to respect will of Ukrainians, warns Kiev against military operation

English.news.cn   2014-05-27 00:39:25

MOSCOW, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Russia said Monday it would respect the will of Ukrainians in their presidential election, but warned Kiev against resuming a military operation in the country's southeastern regions.

"The fact that the vote was organized in many regions of Ukraine could probably be regarded as a generally positive fact. As the president (Vladimir Putin) has said, we will respect the will expressed by the Ukrainian people," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.

He said Moscow was ready for dialogue with Petro Poroshenko, the likely winning candidate, but said Russia "definitely does not need" mediators in talks with Kiev.

Exit polls show the "Chocolate King" Poroshenko won Sunday's presidential election with an absolute majority.

"The only thing, I would very much like his declared readiness for a dialogue not to be conditional on internal reservations, as he mentioned, in particular, that he will be ready for a dialogue with us with the mediation of the European Union and the United States," Lavrov said.

Meanwhile, the minister said not all Ukrainian presidential candidates could campaign properly.

"There were cases where the election campaign was inhibited, one of the candidates was not allowed to board a plane and so on. Many simply had to withdraw from the race, not least in fear of the physical consequences," the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

The minister also warned Kiev against resuming its "so-called anti-terrorist operation" in southeastern Ukraine, saying that would be a "big mistake."

"We are hoping that Petro Poroshenko will do everything to prevent some extremist radial tendencies in Kiev toward the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, or in any other region of this country, from prevailing," he said.

Meanwhile, gunfire and explosions were heard near the airport in Ukraine's eastern city of Donetsk on Monday.

Xinhua correspondents at the scene saw at least three fighter jets hovering over the city and explosions were heard. Residents around the airport had been evacuated, and reporters were barred from entering the conflict zone.

Meanwhile, situation in downtown areas remained stable.

 The new Ukrainian authorities, Lavrov noted, should "confirm or declare their adherence to the settlement roadmap suggested by the chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe."

He also said Moscow would seek a thorough investigation into the deadly clashes and fire in Ukrainian's southern city of Odessa on May 2, which claimed more than 40 lives.

"We're confident that the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) can be involved to examine the use of toxic substances in the House of Trade Unions where activists of the tent camp took shelter," he said.

Editor: yan
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